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Vicente Roca Point is one of the most famous snorkeling spots in the Galápagos islands. Located north of Isabela island, it is featured in the itinerary of numerous cruises organized around the archipelago, usually including a stop there. Although the spot is above all known for its important populations of green sea turtles, sharks and rays can also be observed when underwater visibility is good.

Snorkeling with sea turtles at Vicente Roca Point, Galapagos
Sea turtles literally surround snorkelers at this location.

How to go snorkeling Punta Vicente Roca?

Vicente Roca Point is only accessible by boat. Located north of Isabela Island, 200km away from the closest inhabited areas, the only way to visit the site is to go on a multi-day naturalist cruise. Make sure when booking that the site is included in the itinerary.

Vicente Roca Point snorkeling map, Isabela

Water entrance for snorkeling Punta Vicente Roca

Water entrance is from the boat.

Punta Vicente Roca snorkeling tips and recommendations

The area to be explored is the most sheltered part of the bay (see map above). Along the shore, the seabed is rocky for about ten meters (↕0,5-2m/1-6ft) before becoming covered with grey sand (↕2-3m/6-10ft).

Vincente Roca Point is known for its Galápagos green turtles, which are abundant in the bay. Their concentration is so great that sometimes 5 or 6 turtles can be spotted in a row, floating on the surface of the sea and cradled by the waves. Some others are found resting on the sand.

Bullseye puffer at Vicente Roca Point
A school of bullseye puffers.

Along the rocky shore, you may see Mexican hogfish, threebanded butterflyfish, and wrasses. Whitetip reef sharks, ocean sunfish and seahorses also inhabit the area, but aren’t so easily spotted while snorkeling.

During your snorkeling, you may be lucky enough to encounter a Galápagos penguin or a flightless cormorant (endemic to Isabela and Fernandina Islands), which have established small colonies nearby. Undisturbed by the presence of snorkelers, these birds can be spotted swimming on the surface of the water and quickly diving into the water for fishing.

Galapagos sea turtle at Vicente Roca Point
Punta Vicente Roca sea turtles.

Underwater visibility at this location is very random, like in many parts of the west coast of Isabela Island. It is not uncommon that snorkeling is canceled due to poor visibility (due to overly green/opaque water).

Restaurant and accommodation nearby

Vicente Roca Point is an entirely natural site, which can only be visited by embarking on a multi-day and full board naturalist cruise.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaParque Nacional Galápagos
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsCruise price
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.