Kayaking in the Galápagos National Park

Kayaking in the Galápagos National Park

Located in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a protected area regulated and governed to protect the ecosystem. Over 250,000 tourists visit the Galapagos National Park each year and spend more time offshore than on. It’s known for its natural beauty and plentiful wildlife.

The Galapagos Islands is a “must-see” locale for any traveler who appreciates nature and marine life. Boat cruises, hiking, and kayaking tours are popular activities at the Galapagos National Park. Almost all of the boat cruises offer snorkeling and kayaking as part of their itinerary.

At the Galapagos National Park you will experience the best Ecuador has to offer. You can hike the volcanoes, take a relaxing dip in the hot springs, and swim with the sea lions. There is a lack of natural marine predators allowing the wildlife to zigzag fearlessly throughout the island.

You will find endless opportunities for taking stunning photographs during your kayaking excursion.  Kayaking is a watersport that allows you the opportunity to get up close and personal with marine life. It’s the most natural way to experience the islands without being confined to a cruise ship.

Kayaks come in a variety of types but most cover the legs with an enclosed deck. There are single paddler kayaks, or tandem kayaks that hold multiple people. Essentially, you can kayak in any body of water with some requiring permits. One of the best places in the world to kayak is the Galapagos National Park.

The park offers many establishments throughout the islands that specialize in kayaking and provide private or group tours. You are able to paddle away from the beaches to explore and spend time with the sea turtles, dolphins and other marine life.

One of the many benefits of kayaking through the Galapagos National Park is there are no large tour or cruise ships to contend with. There are never any crowds as you kayak through rocky grottoes and small coves.

What To Expect

The waters of the Galapagos Islands are crystal clear making it ideal for kayaking. Kayaking gives people a different perspective when it comes to enjoying the landscapes of the Galapagos National Park. The wind year-round is a challenging factor and causes the water to remain quite rocky.

Make sure you always wear a life jacket and helmet. If you’re bringing valuables on the boat, rent or purchase a waterproof bag. Beginners can certainly kayak the Galapagos Islands. There are several stores on the island that offer quick 5 minute lessons before entering the water.

While kayaking, you have the ability to control your speed based on your preference. If you’re a beginner, avoid exhaustion by rowing slowly as opposed to forcing your arms to move fast. V-shape kayaks are ideal for touring the Galapagos National Park as they force you to go straight. They also allow you to travel more efficiently.

The Best Galapagos Kayaking Spots

Most tourists favor Tortuga Bay, Playa de los Alemanes, Garrapatero Beach, and Divine Bay. However, there are many other beaches that are a fantastic starting point for kayaking.

Cerro Brujo in San Cristobal is the hot spot for viewing many species of wildlife. It’s home to mockingbirds, finches, sea lions, rays, shore birds, tropical fish, and sponge coral. Most tourists boast this as the most scenic beaches of all of Galapagos.

You can find three booby species at Pitt Point, on the northern shore of San Cristobal Island. While kayaking through this location, you’ll also see frigate birds and a sea lion colony that calls this beach home.

On the eastern side of the Galapagos National Park is Gardner Bay, one of the best locations for kayaking. It has the longest stretch of pristine beach in all of Galapagos.

Occasionally, you will see hawks flying overhead, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and marine iguanas. You can see hammerhead sharks swimming with the fish at Darwin Bay.

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