Wildlife Adventures: Swimming With Sharks And Sea Lions In The Galapagos Islands


Hammerhead shark. Photo courtesy ofBarry Peters.

“Don’t freak out, but there are two huge hammerhead sharks right below us.”

My guide Jens’ attempt at having me “not freak out” over the two carnivorous beasts that are 10 feet away from my juicy calves only leads me to begin shrieking and jumping on his back. Soon, though, the sharks are gone, and nobody has been eaten.

“Sharks prefer sea lions and fish to people,” Jens explains. “They’ll only go for you if they’re confused.”

Thankfully, those two hammerheads seemed very understanding.

I am on theGalapagos Islandof San Cristobal in南美,服用岛罗伯士,莱昂Dormido /基克罗克和波多黎各大的潜水之旅 - 其中包括与鲨鱼和海狮游泳。凭借其清澈的海水,白色的沙滩,独特的动植物和俏皮的海狮,很难相信有可能是比这更好的天堂。

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Isla Lobos

Our first stop is Isla Lobos. The site features a small but pristine island, and a protected channel known for its plethora of sea lions. Here, the visibility is amazing, as you could see every fish, sea turtle and sea iguana very clearly – almost too clearly.



Sea lions. Photo courtesy of瞬间性的。

I laugh, turning to tap my friend on the shoulder to tell her, just as she performs a very acrobatic flip out of the water. That’s when I realize it isn’t my friend, but a baby sea lion trying to play a game with me. Two minutes later, three of its friends join in. On land, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and frigate-birds abound. It’s amazing to look at the whole picture at once, as the marine and bird life seem to dance together on one stage.

Kicker Rock

Our next stop is Kicker Rock, a massive rock formation rising 500 feet out of the water and taking on the appearance of a león dormido, or sleeping lion. It’s also the site of my shark encounter. The guide tells me that sometimes there are almost 100 sharks, so only encountering six for the day isn’t a lot. As I’m used to encountering zero, I beg to differ; however, the Galapagos sharks, blacktip sharks, white tip sharks and hammerheads that reside near Kicker Rock, while large in size, are virtually harmless to humans.

That knowledge does nothing, however, to keep my blood from running cold every time one comes within 10 feet of me. Once we leave Kicker Rock, however, I realize how lucky I am to have had such a unique experience. And, along with the sharks, the Chocolate Chip starfish, sea turtles and an array of tropical fish and colorful corals remind me I’m in one of the most beautiful and ecologically diverse places in the world.


For lunch we make a stop at the serene beach of Puerto Grande. The food is great, a huge helping of rice with tender chunks of beef. Once we’ve digested a bit, the group descends into the warm, clear water and makes our way to the beach for a short informational hike. The beach is covered in hermit crabs, diverse pieces of shell and perfect white sand. Apparently, the sand gets its color from the chunks of white coral that lay upon the beach.

我们做一个停在岩石一会儿铁道部e snorkeling and diving – and more shark encounters – before heading back home. As I lay on the bow of the boat, bathing in the last of the day’s sunlight, I hear a loud splash in front of me. Looking up, a breaching whale jumps out of the water, and I slowly watch its tail sink back below. This place really is unlike any other on Earth.

Travel Tip:If visiting the Galapagos Islands and interested in doing this tour, it was given byDive Surf Club, although you can book through any agency as the whole island works together. The guides are hysterical, fun and have a lot of knowledge. It’s $50 to snorkel and $120 to dive, including naturalist guides, dive instructors, snacks, drinks and lunch.

*This article originally appeared onGadling

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  1. Erin on January 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Oh wow, the sharks would have scared me too! But that sounds incredible, especially the playful sea lions!

    • jess2716 2015年1月14日,在下午8点54分

      @Erin: Yea, and all in the wild. No cages or seals/dolphins living in small spaces. Just wide open freedom!

  2. Laurel on January 14, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Love the photo of the hammerhead! Your post brings back such great memories! I had the most incredible dives of my life in the Galapagos when I did an 8 day live-abroad dive trip there a few years ago.

    • jess2716 on January 14, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      @Laurel:这次旅行肯定让我想到更多的about getting dive certified. I only snorkeled this particular time, but maybe in the future…:)

  3. Ashley 2015年1月14日,在20:55


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