Ecuador Snorkeling – Why you cannot miss exploring Ecuador marine life
Snorkeling is one of the most accessible water sports when traveling anywhere in the world. The equipment is cheap, certainly cheaper that diving, and anybody with decent swimming skills can do it. Depending on the site, snorkeling will allow you to explore and catch sight of plenty of marine wildlife. Any snorkeling aficionado can tell you that Ecuador snorkeling spots are ideal due to its geographic location. Surrounded by the Andean Ecosystem (Colombia to the north, Peru to the east and south) and bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, Ecuador is an ideal marine ecosystem for every snorkeling lover.
Here´s short account of the best Ecuador snorkeling spots, a short list specially thought for snorkeling activities, we shall leave Scuba-diving for another article.
1. The Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve, of course!
Certainly the most bio diverse spot in Ecuador is the area where the warm Panama Current meets the colder Humbolt and Cromwell currents. In this coalition of currents lies a unique and extremely diverse ecological system filled with fascinating marine life. This area known as the Galapagos Marine Reserve has 133 000 square kilometer of pure life and magic.
Though the Galapagos Islands do not have a coral reef like the rest of the famous snorkeling locations in the South Pacific, it houses a large variety of wildlife and a good visibility for snorkeling.
Manta rays, white-tipped sharks, eagle rays, sea-turtles, sea-lions, you name it, the Galapagos has it all, a colorful life-filled ecosystem of easy access. This is what makes it so special for snorkeling; you don’t need to go that deep to observe wildlife.
November to April are known to be the ideal months for observing marine wildlife, when the water currents will be comparatively less strong and the water will be cold. During this period one can take a glance of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and eagle rays.
Most Galapagos Cruises will include plenty of snorkeling activities (almost daily). Land tours will also prioritize snorkeling activities.
In you are visiting Galapagos in a hotel-based tour, Kicker Rock in San Cristobal, Los Tuneles in Isabela and Bartolomé near Santa Cruz Island are the best spots for snorkelers.
2. The Ecuador continental coastal line is also awesome.
The Ecuador mainland is jam packed with stunning beautiful beaches, dense mangrove islands, low land dense rainforests and also eye-catching varieties of sea animals. If traveling through the mesmerizing natural beauty of the coast line, there are three major regions where you should definitely stop and take some time to plunge and explore: Manabí and Santa Elena provinces. These areas include coral reefs offshore platforms and comprise the large area of the Machalilla National Park which is one of the last refuges of marine life in Ecuador.
There are four highlights for snorkeling: Puerto Lopez, Isla de la Plata and Salango and El Ahorcado Islet. In Santa Elena, major landmarks are in the Ruta del Sol between Ayangue and San Pedro in the El Pelado Islet.
If visiting Manabí, from Puerto Lopez you can take a boat to visit Isla de la Plata (Silver Islan. Ecuador’s near shore version of the Galapagos). Isla de la Plata is filled with exotic wildlife, exquisite unspoiled beaches and rich historical past. You may swim and snorkel in crystal-clear waters and you might catch sight of a sea lion and multicolor fish.
Surrounding the island you may also find are numerous reefs. On the way there be keen to observe migratory birds, including blue-footed and masked boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, and giant albatross.
Famous hump-back whales breeds on the the southern coasts of Ecuador in the month of June to October every year visti this area. If you are a Snorkeler you will be lucky enough to see these creatures live as they also pass through Ecuador during this month.
What are you waiting for, grab your mask and fins and get ready to snorkel Ecuador.