3 Things I Loved About Kayaking in the Galapagos

Santa Cruz Island, Things to Do

I’ve always loved kayaking because the kayak is quiet and light which makes it easy to get up nice and close to the animals. I was excited as we started out on our kayaking adventure in the Galapagos.

We were heading out to kayak the Itabaca channel which separates the islands of Baltra and Santa Cruz. It was about a 45 minute ride from where we were staying at the Aventura lodge in Puerto Ayora across Santa Cruz island to the Itabaca channel. The sun was shining and the water looked amazing, turquoise and crystal clear.

3 Things I Loved About Kayaking in the Galapagos

Here are a 3 of the things I loved about our kayaking adventure:

1. Sea Birds

We put the kayaks in at the main boat dock and started exploring along the edge of the mangrove. The first thing we noticed was a large pelican resting in the tops of the mangroves. He just sat there and watched lazily as we paddled by a few feet in front of him.

As we got a little farther from the dock we saw a lot of sea birds fishing and swooping all around us. We had seen blue footed boobies and frigate birds on land, but seeing them from the Kayak was a new experience. The blue footed boobies were plunge diving for their lunch not far from our kayak!

2. Marine Life

I noticed some fish jumping near the edge of the mangrove so I decided to get a closer look. As I got closer I saw that there were a lot of flies resting on the top of the water in the shade of the mangrove. There was a large school of fish jumping up trying to catch them. It was a nice feeling to be able to just float there while all these fish came around under my kayak and jumped out of the water at the flies.

We also saw white tipped reef sharks and skates resting on the bottom of the channel and swimming by under the kayaks. We saw a number of different kinds of fish as we paddled around.

Note: the two underwater photos were taken on the kayaking trip, but while snorkeling. We saw these animals from the boat, but the pictures come out much clearer underwater.

3. A Sea Lion and Booby Droppings

As we kayaked near the cliffs of Santa Cruz Island we saw a sea lion soaking up the sun on some of the rocks near the waters edge. He didn’t seem the least bit worried about us and I think he was almost as curious about us as we were about him. (By the looks of the white rock, it seems that some sea birds also like his spot.)

There were also some blue footed boobies on the rocks. The naturalist guide explained that they were just resting there, but that they were not nesting. He said that you can tell when the boobies are nesting because they make a ring of droppings around their nest site. They don’t actually build a nest, they just lay their eggs on the ground so the ring of droppings marks the nest site. If you don’t see a ring of droppings you know that they are not nesting on that site.

A Wonderful Way To Spend The Morning

We really enjoyed our morning kayaking. We saw some amazing things and learned more about the islands and animals of the Galapagos.

It was also nice that we could use a double kayak that made it easier for our daughter to enjoy herself. We didn’t have to worry about her, and she didn’t have to paddle when she didn’t feel like it.

kayak excursion galapagos

Have you been kayaking in the Galapagos? What did you think of it? Please share your comments.

Meet the Author

Hi, I'm Dena Haines! I'm an traveler, photographer and Canadian entrepreneur. I'm a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for travel brands. I blog at GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel) and Click Like This (How to Use a GoPro).

2 comments… add one
  • Samantha May 7, 2013, 11:45 am

    This sounds wonderful! I’ll be staying in Puerto Ayora in November for a volunteer excursion. I’d love to get the opportunity to kayak (and do other excursions) while I am there, but I want to ensure I’m only participating in activities that directly fund the local residents and economy, as I’ve researched that most tourist activities are adding profit to foreign companies while the locals live in poverty. Any advice or suggestions?

    • Bryan Haines May 9, 2013, 8:06 am

      You have a valid concern.
      99% of our employees are people who live in Galapagos.

      We always use local services and people first. As an example, on Isabela Island we take our guest to the farm whose owners are a family native from that island. Also, most of the food that we used is provided by the Galapagos individuals and businesses. And our company is not foreign, but based here in Ecuador.

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