Witness 11-bucket list animals while diving in Galapagos
All adventure lovers gather because Galapagos is a dream come true. If you ever wanted to experience the beauty of the underwater world, or just casually hang out with sharks in Galapagos, this is the place to be.
This amazing island also called ‘A living museum of evolution’ served Charles Darwin as the inspiration for his theory of evolution. Thanks to Mother Nature, you’ll be able to discover a rich marine life Galapagos that will leave you breathless. Bring your camera because the scuba diving in Galapagos was never so appealing!
Here are 11-bucket list animals ready to be found in this piece of paradise.
1) Marine Iguana’s
The chameleon among marine life Galapagos is definitely this amazing scale clad reptile. Not very agile on land, but one of the greatest swimmers, Marine Iguana, is the only lizard in the world who can forage at sea. How cool is that?
If this didn’t convince you to admire them, just imagine all those beautiful colors this iguana can provide. When it’s time for a mating call, iguanas turn red and black on Santa Cruz. If you find yourself in Fernandina, they will be pinky-red or dull green. Brilliant bright green and red iguanas are searching for their partners in Espanola and Floreana.
Have in mind that there are 6 subspecies of this unique lizard, each one living on different islands, so it will be hard not to miss them.
2) Hammerhead Sharks
Diving with the Hammerhead Sharks in Galapagos is one of those unique experiences you must try. Thousands of these funny-looking sharks migrate to the islands north of Archipelago, trying to find their meal. Usually, you can spot them near the edge of the continental shelf, which means they can dive as deep as 1000 feet and return shallow to eat. What a show!
Floating through the ocean, they will remind you of slow-moving clouds. Casting the shadow of a dive site, these gentle giants are creating a solar eclipse in the ocean. It will give you a feeling as if you’re in your own movie!
3) Golden Manta Rays
Have you ever wanted to have one of those Instagrammable photos with ocean Rays? If so, this is your chance!
In addition to Spotted Eagle Rays, Stingrays and Manta Rays, marine life Galapagos has another beautiful species to offer. Golden Manta Rays with its amazing golden-colored tops and a distinctive whipping tail is unavoidable when it comes to scuba diving in Galapagos. Don’t be afraid of their size that varies about 1.5 – 3.3 ft (0.5 – 1m) across the wings. These peaceful giants enjoy quiet lagoons by themselves or with their ocean friends and families.
4) Sea Lions
If sea lions are your favorite animals, you won’t have to look hard to find them. These adorable, playful mammals will delight you with their acrobatic performances. If the Galapagos had a fauna frontrunner, that would be them. Whether they are taking a snooze on a sun-warmed dock or having a daily meeting on rocky shorelines, you’ll notice their curious nature. They are always good for a smile, so prepare your camera to capture their submarine gymnastics!
However, they are not just a cute sight but also the largest animals found within the archipelago. Just think about a grown male weighing 550 Ibs (around 250 kg), and it will be clear to you that they are the kings of their area. As it usually is, the females are much smaller. Family-oriented, they take care of the youngsters in large harems. Of course, a dominant male is protecting them while supervising his family.
5) Fur Seals
Nope, it’s not a mistake. Fur Seals are other tenants of the marine life Galapagos even though they are seal imposters. They are actually sea lions, but much smaller with larger eyes and ears. If you pay attention, you’ll see they even have a larger front flipper so they can climb the rocky coast as they want.
If you haven’t already, prepare for an overdose of cuteness because these fluffy lions have the most adorable thick fur coat. Since their fur is like bathing in a winter coat, they are fans of more shaded, chillier water where they can cool off. If you don’t mind a little refreshment, you know where to go.
6) Whale Shark
However, if you are not one of those and you want to know more about their interesting lifestyle, read on. Many Whale Sharks in Galapagos will migrate and return the following year, but a good percentage of them will stay within the archipelago. They are not the fastest swimmers so you’ll be able to look at them closely.
Scuba diving around Whale Sharks in Galapagos is a sight to remember for all ocean lovers. With a 32.8 – 39.4 ft (10 to 12-meter ) range size and weighing up to even 12 tons, they are the largest fish in the world. Although they don’t represent a danger for humans as their main food source is plankton, not everyone will feel comfortable around them.
7) Red-lipped batfish
Looking for an endemic species to keep scuba diving in Galapagos in your memory? Search no more, because the red-lipped bar fish is there to amaze you. With its red-lipped pout and the look of a Hollywood star, this funky looking fish is one of the unique ones. They are not much of a swimmer so they can be seen crawling along the bottom of the ocean, searching for their next prey.
The legend says they are using those lips to lure their mates under the auspices of the ocean. In the fish world, they probably carry the nickname ‘Don Juan’.
8) Galapagos Penguin
Get your camera ready because you’ll meet the best-dressed bird in Galapagos! These penguins like to live in a tropical climate, and even though they dive all over, look for them in Fernandina and Isabela.
With a combination of a proud posture and gentle temperament, they are more docile than the other penguins. Pretty unique, right?
Scuba diving in Galapagos won’t be complete without being fascinated by dolphins. These kind creatures are incredibly playful and friendly, so let yourself be amazed by their whimsical and curious dance. As they are widely known for their signs of solidarity, dolphins make great teachers even for a human race. They even have sophisticated mechanisms that allow them to use echolocation to identify their surroundings.
So, relax and enjoy the real-life National Geographic show in front of you. Can you imagine a better way to spend a day?
10) Galapagos Shark
For all those adrenaline junkies wishing to see more of the sharks in Galapagos, this species is the most abundant on a reef. They can be found in a wide range of tropical waters, swimming around in large groups. Due to their aggressive attitude and an average size of ten feet (3 meters), Galapagos Sharks are the dominant ones in marine life Galapagos.
Even though they spend the majority of their time in deeper waters, they can be found in the shallows as well. Respect their authority, especially when it comes to pregnant females that dwell just in the shallows of the ocean (82 feet or 25 meters). Juvenile baby sharks will stay with their moms in these nurseries until they become big and strong enough for a tough life of open water.
11) Galapagos Seahorse
Another interesting inhabitant of marine life Galapagos that will bring a smile to your face is Galapagos Seahorse. With a head that resembles a horse and a worm-like tail, this little sea creature prefers to live in tropical waters. On this island, they are yellow due to their habitat and available nutrition.
Moreover, did you know that male seahorse is the one that becomes impregnated instead of the female? Due to many reasons (and maybe seductive nature?), seahorses are not monogamous, and they often change partners during each breeding season.
In some parts of the world, they are considered to contain medicinal properties so they are brutally taken from the ocean. Protected by the Marine National Park, this is a strong reminder to live consciously and save oceans even if you are just scuba diving in Galapagos during your vacation.
Nice article, makes me think about my diving travels in the past. Sounds like a bucketlist spot!