Isabela Island’s underwater world

Take the plunge during a stay at Isabela Island – equipped with only a snorkel and goggles – and you’ll discover the likes of turtles, sea lions, sharks, penguins, rays, all kinds of fish and so much more lurking in the tortoise waters. But where should you go to witness this flourishing wildlife and explore the underwater world? In this article, we tell you exactly where to go snorkelling on Isabela Island. 

Underwater volcanic calderas, crystalline waters and otherworldly wildlife; Isabela Island is a spectacular snorkelling destination. The world class waters of the Galapagos Islands’ largest land mass, offer perfect conditions for exploring the underwater world. And it’s not just scuba divers who get to enjoy the delights of the ocean on Isabela Island. Those who haven’t got their PADI qualifications need not fear. The island offers idyllic snorkel-friendly spots where you can while away a day, amongst some of the most unique wildlife in the world.

Not all places are accessible on foot and some spots further north are very difficult to reach. During your stay at Chez Manany, your hosts will be happy to advise you further!

Read on to find out just where to go snorkelling on Isabela Island.

Where to go snorkelling on Isabela Island

1. Concha De Perla

Perfect for beginners, or those nervous about deep water, Concha De Perla (or park oyster shell in Spanish) is a great snorkelling location near Puerto Villamil. The best part is, its accessible on foot and easy to find. The shallow and very clear waters here offer you the chance to get up close to gorgeous tropical fish, whilst the walkway down to the bay is always dotted with sleepy sea lions! Swim, snorkel or just enjoy a rest here amongst an array of marine life. Up to 20 bird species live in this area too, so make sure you bring a pair of binoculars.

2. Los Tuneles

Those looking for Sea Horses will have their best chance at Los Tuneles. Within this maze of volcanic rock pools, you will find greens turtles, seahorses and possibly even sharks and penguins. The water here very calm and sheltered, so if you’ve got younger members of the family to worry about, this spot is for you! However, to get to Los Tuneles, you’ll have to book a day boat trip from the village. Multi-day cruises are generally not allowed to stop at Los Tuneles, so whilst it might not be on your doorstep, you’ll be gaining a unique experience taking a trip here!

3. Las Tintoreras

Very close to Puerto Villamil, is Las Tintoreras. A series of small volcanic islets offshore from the mainland, this gorgeous spot is inhabited by all kinds of marine life. Admire penguins, sea lions white-tipped reef sharks and turtles under the water, and watch endless marine iguanas go about their days upon the jagged black rocks. Las Tintoreras is located just offshore, meaning you have to take a quick ride on a colourful panga (a small speedboat) from Puerto Villamil. This is however, part of the fun!

To learn more about your options when it comes to equipment hire and snorkelling tours, speak with Isabela Dive Centre or ask your hosts at Chez Manany!

Beautiful Galapagos Underwater

When to go snorkelling on Isabela Island

Isabela Island has two distinct seasons. The warm season which lasts from December to May – is tropical. During this time, the conditions are wet and the air is warm. Accordingly, the water temperature is also warm; around 26 degrees Celsius. Naturally, this is the perfect time for you to take the plunge!

The second seasons – lasting from June to November is drier and slightly cooler. Having said that, the outside temperature is still around 25 degrees Celsius! During this time, you can use a wetsuit if you are particularly sensitive to the cold.

Where to rest your head after a day of snorkelling

After a long day exploring the underwater world, Chez Manany offers a tranquil and high-quality space to rest your head. The beautiful ecolodge is surrounded by palms and luscious greenery and is found next to a mangrove area. The snorkelling hotspot of Concha de Perla is only a few minutes away too!

Accommodation options include that of romantic suites as well as spacious apartments. Passionate about sustainability and the future of the gorgeous island upon which they live, hosts Manany and Wilson have built their ecolodge with the environment in mind. A stay at Chez Manany not only makes for a truly relaxing and nature-rich experience, but will introduce you to the idea and value of a low-impact lifestyle.

Galapagos Ecolodge Romantic Suite

Galapagos Chez Manany Eco Lodge

For more information about all the wonderful things to do during your trip, check out our Ultimate Guide to Isabela Island.

To book a room at Chez Manany, click here.