Floreana Island is one of our favorites places in the Galapagos Islands. One of the reasons for that is La Loberia.
La Loberia specifically refers to a rocky/white sand beach where you can see Sea Lions and their babies. It also encompasses a large beach area that takes in a sea lion nursery/daycare and a swimming/snorkeling area.
We saw baby sea lions sunbathing and wading in the shallow water.
We also swam with a playful sea lion!
Be Cautious Of Where You Are Swimming
Some areas of the beach are safe for swimming and snorkeling and some are not. Our guide explained that it is not safe to swim around the sea lion nursery because the large male sea lions are protective of their territory and may cause problems. The area directly across the water is safe for swimming. It’s far enough away that the territorial males don’t cause problems and close enough that the young sea lions come over to play.
Anxious To Get In The Water
As our group arrived at the swimming beach there were a some locals swimming and playing in the water, there was also a young sea lion! We saw him weaving in and out, swimming close to everyone. He seemed to especially enjoy swimming by the group of children, making them squeal with every pass.
We were so excited to get in the water and see if he would interact with us, he did! We had our snorkel gear on which allowed us to get a good look at him and see things from his perspective. No wonder he was having so much fun, all those arms and legs moving around. It was too much for a curious sea lion to ignore!
Swimming With A Playful Sea Lion
I had heard of people swimming with sea lions at La Loberia but I wondered what that actually meant. Would we just observe them from a distance? Would they just make a quick pass by us to see what we were? Or would they actually swim with us?
That young sea lion swam with us! He really seemed to enjoy being around people. He was there because he wanted to be, and he stayed there the entire time. We were there for over an hour.
He would swim around us for a while and then take a trip around the people near us and then come back. Bryan had a small waterproof camera on a 3 foot extension poll which really caught his interest. He enjoyed getting close to it trying to figure out what it was. That made for some amazing photos and videos!
Being there with that curious/playful sea lion and my family was a moment I knew I would never forget.
Have you swam with sea lions? Where? What was it like? Please share with us by commenting on this post.