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Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.

Minneapolis...
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Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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My husband and I are working on planning a trip to the Galapagos in October 2022. We are having a difficult time determining whether to take the western island tour or the eastern island tour. We would like to snorkel at kicker rock, but a lot of the tour companies we have reached out to don't include snorkeling at kicker rock. Does anyone who has been there before, and is not a tour company have any additional insights on a Western vs. Eastern itinerary or best snorkeling sights? Thank you in advance. :)

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North Coast, N...
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1. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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We did land-based so can't comment on cruises but if Kicker Rock is a 'must do', could you find a suitable cruise starting from San Cristobak & add a day on at the start/end of your cruise? We went to Kicker Rock with Islanders (Galapagos Yacht Day Tours) & were lucky enough to see hammerheads beneath us briefly before they disappeared into the depths.

Tucson, Arizona
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2. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Why Kicker Rock in particular? The snorkeling you will experience daily should be equally enthralling unless you are unusually jaded.

Quito, Ecuador
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3. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Amanda,

Western islands are newer geologically talking, the landscapes are more overwhelming there than in the Easter islands, the water is very cold up in Isabela northern boundaries, so snorkeling there won't be a very good idea probably specially in October. The advantage of the north side of Isabela is that you can admire there the marvelous flightless cormorant at Fernandina and eventually penguins there and at Punta Vicente Roca.

In the south we have Gardner Bay snorkeling site at Española island, this is a beautiful place where you can see white tip reef sharks, mobulas, tropical fish amongst other great marine fauna, the terra firme at Española is fascinating, this island has the greatest diversity of bird fauna amongst the whole archipelago, there you can see Galapagos hawk, mocking birds, ground finches, frigate birds, blue footed boobies, Nasca boobies amongst others. Floreana has also a nice snorkeling site known as Devil's Crown, there you can see a bunch of interesting marine organisms and at San Cristobal you can snorkel at Kicker Rock where in a good day you can see three species of sharks in one session: Galapagos shark, white tip reef shark, black tip shark and hammerheads.

Make your best decision and enjoy the best marine fauna place on Earth!

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yépez

Guanguiltagua Expeditions

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Dear Amanda,

due to the very high and rapidly growing number of land-based tourists, the Galapagos National Park removed Kicker Rock as a ship-based visitor site so that more land-based tourists could go there. Kicker Rock is not too far from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) - so it makes for a hand day tour for land-based folks there.

I have snorkeled there, as well as in many other places. While it is a nice snorkel site, it's no better than several others that are accessible only on a cruise. I wouldn't worry about it.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

CNH Tours

Boston...
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5. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Heather - curious what your thoughts are on the best snorkeling sites (typically accessible from a cruise)? love snorkeling and curious which sites to get excited about :)

Boston...
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6. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Hi Amanda! I had also struggled with my itinerary decision because I really wanted to see and snorkel at Kicker Rock, and I also wanted to visit western Isabela and Fernandina. This combination proved impossible for me to find in a single cruise. I ended up choosing to do a land+cruise combo. My trip report is linked below. I was very pleased with our final itinerary. I loved seeing Kicker Rock up close. It is fabulous! It was not the best snorkeling of our trip, however, because the water is rough. My favorite snorkel spot was Punta Vicente Roca on our cruise, but many other snorkel spots were also amazing. Good luck!

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294310-i6637-k12507666-Trip_Report_Cruise_w_Kids_on_Coral_West_plus_San_Cristobal-Galapagos_Islands.html#99685820

Tucson, Arizona
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7. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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SandS's trip report is also included in the Top Questions on the right (not visible on phones), under the "Which should I do...?" topic.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Dear 2020,

see this: https://www.galapagosadvisor.com/visitor-sites/?orderby=Snorkel

snorkeling sites are ranked by experienced naturalist guides.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

CNH Tours

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Thank you Heather for the site that breaks down the snorkeling sites by recommendation, wildlife, and location. Super helpful. My husband and I are starting to narrow down the immense number of choices. We are looking at the Anahi cruise line & Coral cruise line. Has anyone heard about these two or have any reviews/recommendations r/t cruise lines? We were also looking at Espanola vs Genovesa. Some tours include both, and some only include one. I understand the difference in bird species being that Espanola has the waved albatross, which I would love to see. And Genovesa has red-footed booby, which I would also love to see. Does anyone have any insights into either of these two islands, which island you preferred over the other? I understand that they are both going to be amazing, but I have to narrow down my choices, so any thoughts are highly recommended.

Pa.
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for St. John
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10. Re: Itinerary thoughts, cruises, & snorkeling.
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Heather, thanks for that posting. Off the top of your head, do you know which of those sites the "Born of Fire" itinerary on the Samba hits?

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