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Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
56 posts
4 reviews
Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

Hi

We are doing a land-based tour staying in Santa Cruz and Isabella with our 3 children (5, 8 and 10). I am looking for advice and advice on where to chose for day trips and any companies that are good with children (very low level of Spanish).

The 8 and 10 year old and strong swimmers used to snorkelling and the 5 year old less so but still comfortable in the water. Advice on where is good and relatively calm to snorkel also much appreciated.

Thank so much!

Jemma

9 replies to this topic
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
232 posts
33 reviews
1. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

We went with our 11 year old twins last spring. From Santa Cruz, we went on the Altamar for two trips. Our first was to Bartolome and Sullivan Bay. Sullivan Bay is great snorkeling for kids because it is right off the beach. The major drawback with this tour is that it’s a long day (6 am pickup and about 6pm drop off). Our second day trip was to South Plazas and Carrión Point. Carrión Point was our most difficult snorkeling - we had a strong current and deep water. We really loved Altamar. A very comfortable boat, good guides, and good food/service.

On Isabela, I, unfortunately, don’t remember the particular tours we went with. We did Los Tunneles and Tintoreras. Our kids especially loved Los Tunneles - they felt like real explorers going through the lava tunnels. And there were no tough currents to deal with. They enjoyed Tintoreras, too. We had to go through some deeper, choppier water to get to the snorkeling site - but it was just a couple minutes of swimming.

My big recommendations are to bring your own snorkeling equipment for the kids. The stuff provided by the tour companies wasn’t great. Also, rent wet suits for the kids for the Isabela tours (at a minimum). There was a very cold current and my kids froze at Los Tunneles. (We rented wet suits for Tintoreras and it was great).

Also, great snorkeling on Isabela is at Concha de Perla. It’s free, but you’ll need to have equipment. It’s flat, clear water with no current. And there are tons of sea lions swimming around. My kids loved this and we did it every day on Isabela.

And one more suggestion. At low tide, the beach on Isabela creates large tide pools in the rocks. We had a great time exploring those with our kids.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
232 posts
33 reviews
2. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

I forgot to add with all our tours in the Galapagos the guides always spoke great English. Generally, the supporting staff spoke only Spanish. We got by with our rudimentary Spanish quite well.

Montreal
Level Contributor
330 posts
43 reviews
3. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

On Santa Cruz, you could always try going to Tortuga Bay (no guide required) where there is a small lagoon that is pretty calm. It's a good walk but the beach is fabulous and makes for a nice inexpensive outing.

Level Contributor
5 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

We are going to be on Santa Cruz and Isabela in 2 weeks (8/21-8/28) with 3 kids ages 5,10,and 14. Doing lots of snorkeling. Happy to report back when we return. Feel free to ping me if I am late in reporting (if you reply to this message, I'll get a notification).

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
56 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

Thanks so much for the advice. This is all fantastic and very useful.

We are already in Ecuador so have missed the boat (so to speak) for bringing our own snorkelling equipment unfortunately.

Inna7766, I think we will coincide in Santa Cruz and Isabela so I'll keep my eyes out for another family with 3 children and say hi!

Level Contributor
5 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

Got it. Didn't realize you were already in Ecuador. Would be fun to run into each other! Have an awesome time!

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
21 posts
6 reviews
7. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

Great thread! We are also going to be in Santa Cruz and Isabela from Aug 20 - 24 with our 10 year old. Our daughter has been practicing snorkeling a lot but I’ll be going for my first lesson next week! We are really looking forward to it!

Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
47 posts
4 reviews
8. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

Dushman, on your trip to Isabela was that just a day trip or did you spend 1 night there?

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
232 posts
33 reviews
9. Re: Day trips and snorkelling from Isabella & Santa Cruz w kids

We actually spent 3 nights on Isabela (took the ferry there and back). I recommend spending as much time on Isabela as possible. It’s really an amazing place.

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