Kayaking from your Galapagos Cruise
Spending quality time in the tropical waters of the Galapagos doesn't always mean you have to get wet. While swimming, snorkeling, and diving are great ways to get up close and personal with the colorful fish, sharks, rays, and other species below the water's surface, kayaking is another awesome way to become familiar with the marvels that the Galapagos ocean hosts.
Since the water around the Galapagos Islands (especially in the kayaking/ snorkeling spots) is crystal clear, it's easy to float lightly over the surface of the water and still be able to appreciate the sea's beauty.
Generally, animals tend to stay away from kayaks, so this isn't the best way to get close to the sea creatures. If that's your goal, snorkeling is your best bet.
Otherwise, kayaks are a fantastic option if you are looking for a different perspective from which to enjoy the landscapes. Since you are the one responsible for paddling the kayak, you can control the speed you'd like to see everything. It's a good way to slow down and enjoy the breathtaking scenes.
What if I've never kayaked?
Kayaking is not a difficult activity at all, and you will go out with your guide or a member of the crew. It's a relaxing way to get right out onto the water's surface. The waters are tranquil, and your guide will not steer you wrong. You don't need any previous boating experience to take advantage of sea kayaking in the Galapagos.
On the Haugan Cruises, there are several kayaking opportunities on each navigation. There are usually only one or two planned opportunities in the itinerary, but if you want to kayak more, this can usually be arranged with your guide and crew. All cruises include several landings for sea kayaking.
Each boat only has two kayaks (which cannot accommodate everyone), so your guide and crew will explain how and when you will be able to rotate kayaking to make sure that everyone who wants to experience this is able to.
It is generally considered an extra activity, meaning that it is normally only an option during down time (after the morning activity and before lunch, after lunch and before the afternoon activity, etc). However, there are places and times to kayak almost everyday on Haugan Cruises.
Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal): This is the perfect destination to witness all kinds of wildlife. The eroded hill on the northern coast of the island is home to sea lions, shore birds, finches, and mockingbirds. Underneath the water, you can see anemones, sponge coral, sea turtles, rays, and all kinds of tropical fish. Many travelers consider this to be one of the most scenic beaches in the chain, with white powdery sand and plethora of animals.
Pitt Point (San Cristobal): On the opposite side of the northern shore of San Cristobal Island you can find a whole new scene ? all three booby species can be found here, in addition to a sea lion colony that calls this cliff-bordered beach home. Frigatebirds and petrels also frequent this spot.
Gardner Bay (Española): Located on the eastern side of the island, this is a great destination for kayaking. Onshore, you can see nearly 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses as they breed on the white-sand beaches. Playful sea lions also call this rocky beach their home. Beneath your kayak, keep an eye out for tropical fish and sea lion pups going for an afternoon dip.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa): If you want to witness the ominous drifting of the hammerhead sharks without the trepidation of actually swimming with them, then kayaking at Darwin Bay is a cool option for you. They swim in company with a vibrant mix of tropical fish that can be seen from a kayak as well. Onshore, mangrove forests and coral beaches make the perfect home for Nazca and Red-footed boobies and Swallow-tailed gulls. The tidal pools also host a fun-loving sea lion population.