Have a once in a lifetime experience as you swim close by giant sea turtles, elegant manta rays, quiet and steady Pacific sea horses and curious and colorful coral reef fish. As required by the Galapagos National park, a naturalist certified guide will show you around as you encounter docile white tail sharks and other wildlife that makes los Tuneles an exciting and unforgettable adventure.
Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago, its spectacular landscapes and immense biodiversity are unique and memorable, and surely, the feeling of a peaceful small town and welcoming islanders will leave a mark on your heart and memory. The Tunnels consist of rocky formations – a series of arcs and tunnels underneath and above the water made by the flow of lava into the ocean. The calm, clear and shallow waters attract a great variety of sea animals and provide the perfect conditions for snorkeling. Afterwards, a short hike on the black and rough volcanic rock that welcomes the island birds allows visitors to see the different species close up on their nests and resting places.
The tour operator will pick you up from the hotel and take you to try on your wetsuit and snorkeling gear. A van will take you to the port where a small boat will be waiting for you. Make sure you bring along a windbreaker jacket and sunscreen. After a 45 minute drive you will reach Los Tuneles. The tour can start with the snorkeling or the hike on the rocky surface, whichever adventure you embark on first will not alter the resulting the experience.
The tour guide will briefly explain the snorkeling technique and provide some helpful tips. Make sure you follow the tour guide along and resist the temptation of wandering about on your own. Enjoy the feeling of gliding through the water, the striking beautiful colors of the corals and fish that inhabit the ocean’s floor and the feeling of being submerged into a miniature land of curious, big eyed creatures. Because the sea animals have no natural predators, they are not scared of humans and some can come up really close to the snorkelers, take into account the National Park’s rule of not touching or feeding the animals.
After the swim, you will enjoy a hot cup of tea aboard the boat and a snack. This is also a good opportunity to chat with your fellow passengers, the crew members and asking the tour guide any question.
The boat will move to a closeby part of the tunnels and you will disembark on to the rocky surface. This short hike is just the thing you need to enjoy the site of seabirds peacefully resting on their white marked nests, the green cactus that stand up tall towards the sky and the magnificent view of sea turtles swimming through the underwater tunnels. If you sit still, you will get a glimpse of the Sally Lightfoot crabs that either blend their dark colors perfectly with the black rocks or stand out entirely with their bright red and blue colors.
The tour ends with the journey back to Puerto Villamil. You can collect photographs taken by the tour guide on a flash memory after a 15 minute wait.
The tour starts at 8am, the pick up from the hotel is around 7am. You will be back by lunchtime at 1pm, make sure you get some breakfast before this activity, although, if you think you can get dizzy, don’t eat much before this adventure.
The weather in the islands is generally warm but the water can get really chilly in the rainy season (starting in July through to December, the coldest temperatures being around September). Make sure you bring your windbreaker jacket for the boat ride. This is the perfect opportunity to bring along underwater cameras and get some award-winning shots of the marine life. It will not be necessary to bring a towel because one will be provided.