In addition to all the wildlife running about, the Galapagos Islands offer visitors numerous ways of observing all the action taking place. Our activities on the Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise offers visitors a window into the action!
Plus, equipment for kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, wet suits, and a wonderful glass-bottom boat are available for guests to enjoy – at no extra cost!
A sea kayaking adventure allows you to view land animals on the shoreline as well as marine animals as they swim through the water. Some of the various creatures that you might have the opportunity to see in their native habitat include penguins, rays, sea turtles, marine iguanas, and the always playful sea lions.
Kayaking is also a fun activity for bonding with family members and most definitely for getting a good work out. Many also enjoy the solitude of hearing the waves break, the wind whistling along the rocks and the proximity one has to the wildlife.
In many ways, the marine realm of the Galapagos Islands resembles a little bit of everything in the tropics and subtropics (check out the islands on these Galapagos maps). Perhaps this is why some call it one of the best marine destinations on the planet. It’s no wonder these waters are also a protected area, with accolades that include: Marine Sanctuary, World Heritage Property, Marine Reserve and, as of 2016, Shark Sanctuary. Snorkeling provides visitors with the ability to completely immerse themselves in the underwater world of the Galapagos, getting up close and personal with the marine life that lives below. Highlights include: sea lions getting right up against your snorkeling mask and swimming alongside sea turtles.
Being in the Galapagos islands doesn’t necessarily imply that you are going to get wet if you don’t want to. There is one option that is available for those who want to experience the mysteries of the sea (without actually getting in the water), and we are one of the few cruises that offer visitors such an experience. On our Galapagos Cruise, our glass-bottom boat is waiting to give you the best underwater view while remaining above the water. On board, the glass-bottom boat you’ll be able to get a glimpse of the beautiful rays, observe some sea turtles peacefully swimming below your feet and, wait a minute, are those white-tipped sharks? Yes, they are.
Throughout our Galapagos tours, you will have the chance to experience the terrestrial beauty of the archipelago on foot. Remember to bring your hiking boots, since the floors can be very irregular and we want you to keep your ankles protected. Put on plenty of sunscreen, take your hat and sunglasses, and get ready to take on the Galapagos Islands flora and fauna first-hand. Every single day will give us the opportunity to see one, if not more, of the Galapagos Big15. These include Blue-footed boobies, Galapagos giant tortoises, marine and land iguanas, and of course, the always lovable sea lions. So get ready to check them off your “must-see” list!
Aboard the Santa Cruz II, you have the chance to experience what it means to stare at the sky from the equator. Stargazing in the Galapagos grants us the ability to see both northern and southern constellations — a very rare opportunity. For an optimal stargazing night there we need only two things: a very clear sky (as is common during the hot season in the Galapagos) and not too much moonlight unless gazing at the moon is what you are after! With the help of a special software called Stellarium, our guides are able to spot the most interesting objects in the sky, specific to our geographical position. A briefing (pre-stargazing) is given inside a dimly lit room so that our eyes can adjust quickly to the darkness of the night once we leave the room and head to the deck. You will not want to miss this starry spectacle, one of the various activities on the Santa Cruz II.