Ecuador (Republic of Ecuador)

Languages: Spanish

Currencies: USD · United States dollar ($)

Capitol: Quito

Continents: South America

Borders: Peru, Colombia

More useful information

Area: 276,841km2

Population: 17,643,060

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +593

Timezones: UTC-06:00, UTC-05:00

Last updated on April 20, 2024

Almost all people coming to Isabela Island have in mind a snorkeling adventure. This is one of the unexploited islands of Galapagos Archipelago and almost all snorkeling spots in Isabela Island are exceptional, since the island is one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world.

I spent most of my time exploring the undewater world and marine life of the island. Snorkeling in Los Tuneles was one of the most unforgettbale snorkeling adventure in my life. 

Here are all best snorkeling spots in Isabela Island.

There are few snorkeling spots in Isla Isabela, most of them are reachable only with an organized tour, however there is one fabulous spot 15 minutes from Puerto Villamil – the main port town of the island. 

Concha de Perla.

Concha de Perla is a shallow bay where you can enjoy snorkeling all day long. It is located short distance from Puerto Villamil, up to 15 minutes by walk.

There are convinient stairs taking you to green waters of the bay. The spot is home to sea lions, penguins and a variety of colouful fishes. The bay is protected from the waves, making it an ideal spot for beginners and children. The water is calm, allowing you to snorkel for hours without getting tired. This probably one of the most accessible snorkeling spots in Isabela Island. You will probably get to swim with playful sea lions. The spotted us immediately the minute we went in the water 😉

How to get to Isla Isabela?

There are two ways to reach Isabela Island in Galapagos:

  • BOAT: fast boat from another island
  • FLIGHT: take a short flight from the main island Santa Cruz.

Tintoreras snorkeling spot.

Tintoreras is a group of small islets that are home to a variety of marine life, including white-tipped sharks, sea turtles, and penguins. The islands are well visible from Concha de Perla and a lot of people are kayaking to snorkel nearby. 

The water around these islands is crystal clear, allowing you to see the marine life up close. The highlight of snorkeling at Tintoreras is swimming with the sharks, which are harmless to humans. The islets are also home to a variety of bird species, making it an ideal spot for birdwatchers.

Complete Travel Guide to Galapagos for solo travelers.

Snorkeling in Los Tuneles lava tunnels.

Snorkeling tour to Los Tuneles is must do! It is among of the most exotic snorkeling spots in Isabela Island. It’s an hour boat trip to south-west coast of Isla Isabela, which can be only with an organized tour and is only accessible by boat. Tour prices different depending on what’s included – but I would highly advise to make sure your trip consists:

  • 2 snorkels
  • snorkeling equipment
  • highlights tour

Read about my full experience here – Snorkeling in Isla Isabela Los Tuneles. 

Snorkeling in Isla Isabela in the caves of Los Tuneles.

Los Tuneles consists of a series of lava tunnels and arches that have been eroded by the waves. The tunnels and arches provide a natural habitat for a variety of marine life – sea turtles, rays and colorful fish swim everywhere around you. The highligh of my tour was snorkeling in the cave with sleeping sharks! It was unreal! Check the VIDEO. 

The water at Los Tuneles is crystal clear, making it ideal for underwater photography. Two top rated snorkeling tours to Los Tuneles:

Playa Puerto Villamil.

Puerto Villamil Beach is a stunning white sand beach streaching for almost 5 kilometres. It’s located a short walk from the port town – Puerto Villamil. The lagoon waters are perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. Some also enjoy kayaking and paddleborading. The beach lined up with palm trees and mangroves. Marine igueanas and sea lions are just lazing on the beach 😉 

La Playita Beach.

La Playita Beach is located at a further end of Playa Puerto Villamil. It’s characteristic black lava rocks cover most fo the white sand beach, but you’ll be able to spot hundreds of marine iguanas as they find sea weed on the rocks. 

It’s a quiter alternative to the main beach Puerto Villamil, you will not spot many people there /we were the only tourists! 

La Playita Beach offers white soft white sand and incredible turquoise water. You can swim and snorkel around the nearby rocky outcrops in the peaceful ambiance. Just make sure you are safe and the currents are not too strong at the time you are visiting. 

Wildlife protection.

It’s important to say whatever you do, make sure you don’t disturb animals life cycles.

Galapagos regulations say you should keep a distance at least 2 metres from any animal. Do not try to make an Insta photos holding iguanas. 

While snorkeling in Isla Isabela remember to respect the marine life and their habitats. Do not touch or disturb anything you see in the water or growing around – a lot plants are poisonous. 

Below-Puerto Villamil, Isla Isabela.

Best snorkeling spots in Isabela Island in Galapagos - Puerto Villamil.

Galapagos Islands posts:

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Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!