South America Travel News

Diving for hammerheads on Galapagos tours

Keen on getting up close and personal with the underwater creatures off the coast of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands? During a cruise around this area, you can keep a safe distance if you're not in the mood to have a brush with nature, but if you're feeling a little more daring, you may want to squeeze on a wetsuit and hop into the waters by Gordon Rocks to swim with hammerhead sharks.

Hammerhead 101
Don't be alarmed - hammerheads are actually quite docile compared to more stereotypically dangerous sharks like great whites and tiger sharks. Although they can get rather big in deeper waters, they are mostly babies in the Galapagos, which is good news for you if you're on the jittery side.

Hammerheads are typically found in tropical waters and migrate in the summer to cooler temperatures. Because they are usually small, especially in areas where humans swim, they rarely pose any threat, so you can feel completely safe during your Galapagos cruise.

Beneath the surface
Once you put on your mask and test out your oxygen tank one last time, you can jump into the refreshing water and immediately find yourself surrounded by the dazzling royal blue water.  As soon as your eyes adjust, you'll be bombarded by spectacular sights, whether your guide has taken you to the middle of a school of hammerheads or graceful manta rays.

Many hammerheads are even more curious than you are, and often swim just a few feet away from divers. Keep in mind that these peaceful fish don't pose any threat - they're just checking out the funny looking creature that just plopped into their home!

Gordon Rocks
Even if you decide that swimming with hammerheads isn't your cup of tea, the view from the deck of your Galapagos cruise ship is simply awe-inspiring. Three volcanic rocks pop out of the water like serene beacons and typically provide a resting ground for migratory birds and native avian creatures like the blue-footed booby.

Millions of years ago, Gordon Rocks was part of an active volcano crater, and after several millennia of geological evolution, the salty waters rolled in and created an oasis for countless reef fish and the majestic hammerhead.

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