Natural Habitat Adventures

Our Trips

Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours

African Safaris

African Safaris

U.S. National Parks Tours

U.S. National Parks Tours

Alaska, Canada & Northern Adventures

Alaska, Canada & Northern Adventures

Galapagos Tours

Galapagos Tours

Mexico & Central America Tours

Mexico & Central America Tours

South America Adventures

South America Adventures

Europe Adventures

Europe Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Asia & Pacific Adventures

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Antarctica & Arctic Journeys

Adventure Cruises

Adventure Cruises

Photography Adventures

Photography Adventures

Family Adventures

Family Adventures

New Adventures

New Adventures

Questions? Call 800-543-8917

Ask a Question

Fill out the form below to receive additional information about our Galapagos Islands or give us a call at 800-543-8917.
Privacy Policy

Get Weekly Updates

Privacy Policy

Download Trip Details

Catalog
Privacy Policy

Thank You!


Click here to see your trip details PDF. You should also receive it by email momentarily.

Get the Catalog

Together, Natural Habitat Adventures and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the globe, while helping to protect the spectacular places we visit and their wild inhabitants.

Request Your Catalog

(Continued)
To help us customize your catalog request, please tell us more about your travel needs:

Privacy Policy

View Our 2022 Digital Catalog

Help us save paper! We offer a digital version of The World's Greatest Nature Journeys. If you'd prefer a mailed copy, please provide your contact details here. To view our digital catalog, please enter your info below.



Privacy Policy

Send Us a Message

Use the form below to send us a comment or question.
Privacy Policy

Refer a Friend

Earn rewards for referring your friends!
Privacy Policy

Know Before You Go

Galapagos Fish Facts | Galapagos Islands Wildlife Guide

Some of the Galapagos Islands’ greatest natural wonders live below the water’s surface. Almost 450 different species of fish have been identified here, many of which are found nowhere else—from massive sharks to delicate seahorses. It’s no wonder the archipelago is considered one of the world’s best scuba and snorkeling destinations. More than 180 of these fish are found in much of the tropical eastern Pacific, and about 50 species are endemic. Godfrey Merlen’s Field Guide to the Fishes of Galapagos is highly recommended for snorkelers. This booklet describes and illustrates more than 100 of the most frequently seen species. One interesting fact that you may learn from this book is that many species of tropical fish change their color and shape as they age; a few can even change their sex midway through life. This certainly makes identification confusing!

Tropical Fish

 Because the Humboldt Current brings cold water from the south, the water temperature tends to be cooler and more varied than in many other tropical destinations. Typically, the temperature fluctuates between 68° and 76°F, varying by season and location. As a result, only a few species of coral grow here, primarily in the subtidal zone. Still, a thrilling abundance and variety of tropical and temperate species can be found just off shore.

One of the great pleasures of a Galapagos snorkeling excursion is the opportunity to see some of the myriad species of colorful fish, with equally colorful names, that inhabit the waters here. These include the blue-eyed damselfish, white-banded angelfish, yellow-tailed surgeonfish, Moorish idols, blue parrotfish, concentric puffer fish, yellow-bellied triggerfish and hieroglyphic hawkfish, to name a few and to give you a sense of the variety in form and color. Your naturalist guide should be able to help you identify some of the more common species.

Sharks

The chance to swim in close proximity to a shark is one of the great underwater thrills for any nature enthusiast, and the Galapagos is home to about 30 different species, including whale sharks, hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, horn sharks, tiger sharks, and whitetip and blacktip reef sharks.

An underwater encounter with a whale shark is particularly exhilarating because of their colossal size and remarkable beauty. They are the world’s largest fish (reaching up to 40 feet in length and weighing up to 20 metric tons) and can be spotted year round in the Galapagos, especially around the northern islands during the warm season (May to December). But don’t worry—they aren’t dangerous. As with baleen whales, whale sharks are filter feeders and mainly eat plankton.

The Galapagos is considered one of the best places in the world for hammerhead shark encounters. The scalloped hammerhead is the most common species and may be seen throughout the archipelago in coastal areas. They often form large schools consisting of hundreds of individuals near Wolf and Darwin islands—a spectacle that attracts divers from around the world.

Rays

Rays are another fish that give snorkelers a real thrill. The Galapagos is home to several different species, including the spotted eagle ray and the golden ray, which are often seen in sheltered bays. Keep an eye out while on open water for some of the larger eagle rays and giant mantas. Large giant mantas have a maximum spread of around 20 feet, and they often leap out of the water and make a mighty splash upon reentry.

Stingrays are also common in shallow water near certain beaches. They can inflict a painful wound if stepped upon so it is important to remember to shuffle your feet in the sand when wading in order to scare them off.

Header photo: Cassiano Zaparoli
Snorkel with Fish in the Galapagos On These Small-Group Cruises
Repeater Layout : vertical-2up
Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
New Ship!

Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience

Small-group adventures aboard your choice of private yachts, led by our outstanding naturalist guides and photo pros. Snorkel and swim with sea lions, sea turtles and penguins on this incomparable nature odyssey.

  Photo departures available
8 or 10 Days / Year-Round
From $5495 (+air)
Limited to 16 Travelers
New Ship!
Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure
New Itinerary!

Galapagos Hiking & Kayaking Adventure

Paddle, hike and explore in places not included on typical trips! Our catamaran-based adventure offers rare access to less-visited spots (and extended paddling time) with our special kayaking permits.
8 or 10 Days / Year-Round
From $5995 (+air)
Limited to ~14 Travelers
New Itinerary!
Know Before You Go

Get Weekly Updates

Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
We're Proud of the Reputation We’ve Earned
Outside
Voted "World's Best Travel
Company"
by Outside Magazine
Outside
Natural Habitat Adventures Ranked
“Best Outfitter”
NatGeo
Voted Best Winter Trip: Natural Habitat Adventures' Monarch Butterfly Migration, Mexico
VIEW MORE AWARDS
Natural Habitat & WWF Discovering Our Planet Together
WWF Logo
Get Weekly Updates
Our weekly eNewsletter highlights new adventures, exclusive offers, webinars, nature news, travel ideas, photography tips and more.
Privacy Policy
Request Your 2022-23 Catalog
Together, Natural Habitat Adventures and World Wildlife Fund have teamed up to arrange nearly a hundred nature travel experiences around the globe, while helping to protect the spectacular places we visit and their wild inhabitants.

Natural Habitat Adventures 2022 Catalog

(Continued)
To help us customize your catalog request, please tell us more about your travel needs:

View Our 2022 Digital Catalog
Help us save paper! We offer a digital version of The World's Greatest Nature Journeys. If you'd prefer a mailed copy, please provide your contact details here. To view our digital catalog, please enter your info below.

Natural Habitat Adventures 2022 Catalog
Send Us a Message
Use the form below to send us a comment or question.
Sign up to receive our travel emails!
Privacy Policy
Refer a Friend
Earn rewards for referring your friends! We'd like to thank our loyal travelers for spreading the word. Share your friend's address so we can send a catalog, and if your friend takes a trip as a first-time Nat Hab traveler, you'll receive a $250 Nat Hab gift card you can use toward a future trip or the purchase of Nat Hab gear. To refer a friend, just complete the form below or call us at 800-543-8917. It's that easy! See rules and fine print here
Sign up to receive our travel emails!
Privacy Policy
/know-before-you-go/galapagos-islands/wildlife-guide/fish/
Physical Requirements