León Dormido / Kicker Rock Tour

-Amazing snorkelling with rays, millions of fish, hundreds of sharks and we saw dolphins!

-Full day boat trip $120, includes lunch, wet suit and snorkelling equipment.

Léon Dormido / Kicker Rock, Galápagos Islands
Léon Dormido / Kicker Rock, Galápagos Islands

A fantastic boat trip with awesome snorkelling opportunities!

We sorted our wet suits and snorkelling the day before, so we were all ready to board our boat early the next morning at 8am. We were a group of 3 scuba divers and 8 snorkelers.

We first made a stop for the scuba divers to do a practice dive. At first I was not too happy that we had to wait for the scuba divers, after all, we had paid to do a snorkelling trip. However, we had stopped in a beautiful location in a secluded cove with beautiful views of the island and Kicker Rock ahead. We went up on the top of the roof of the boat and enjoyed the sunshine and spectacular views, dreaming for a few moments what it would be like to have our own boat!

After about half an hour, we continued the journey towards Kicker Rock. On the way, we caught sight of glorious sea turtles and rays. Then, the driver changed course and we took a small detour in the hope of running into some dolphins. It had not crossed our mind that we would see dolphins on our trip to the Galápagos. However, we were in luck and three beautiful dolphins appeared beside the boat. The driver kept circling around to make waves, which attracted the playful dolphins as they tried racing alongside the boat! It was definitely a special surprise for us!

Kicker Rock, Galápagos Islands
Kicker Rock, Galápagos Islands

However, the real highlight of the trip was to come once we arrived at Kicker Rock. To begin with, the rock itself is spectacular and immense, towering above us. We sailed around the rock spotting frigate birds with their bright red gullets flying near the top of the rock.

Then, we stopped the boat at the ‘entrance’ to the pass between the two great rocks. We dived in and immediately we were swimming above a beautiful school of rays gliding below us surrounded by hundreds of other colourful fish. We continued to the straight between the giant rocks where the water was so clear that we could see about 20 metres deep all the way down to the seabed. And all around us were sharks! Hundreds of white-tipped Reef sharks and Galápagos sharks, between 1-3 metres long, were everywhere, and some quite happy to swim within a couple of metres of us! I remember it being such a surreal feeling to be swimming amongst these great mysterious, and menacing, creatures. I was scared, but almost so mesmerised that I didn’t want to come up to the surface, as it would bring me back to ‘reality’. It was certainly a nerve-wracking experience, but exhilarating and incredible!

We had a quick break on the boat to catch our breath and collect our thoughts. It was so exciting, I was buzzing! The scuba divers were with us and were able to explore the seabed, however, they said that they had not seen anything different to us. We were told that Kicker Rock was the best hope for snorkelers to see Hammerhead sharks, but neither we, nor the divers, were fortunate enough. Not that we were complaining…

We went around to the other side of the rock and dived back in the water. This time, not so many sharks, but thousands of fish!! I believe they were Salema fish, which caught the shimmer of the sun as they swam and darted to change direction. They almost felt like one body of fish that swam in a uniform configuration. If you dived down amongst them, they would enclose you so you were completely surrounded by these thick barricades of Salema. And every now and again, you would see a shark navigating its way through, parting the waves of fish. It was, again, another otherworldly and fantastic encounter!

The final part of the trip was a chance to rest on a beautiful beach. Another postcard beach, white sand and clear azure waters. And a sea lion or two playfully surfing the waves. It was paradise, and the perfect end to an incredible day! Phew, a chance to catch our breath!

Beach on Kicker Rock tour, Galápagos Islands
Beach on Kicker Rock tour, Galápagos Islands

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