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Punta Vicente Roca (Vicente Roca Point) is one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the Galápagos islands. Nestled on the northwestern coast of Isabela island, it is featured in the itinerary of most cruises organized around the archipelago. Punta Vicente Roca has everything snorkelers can dream about: dozens of sea turtles, large schools of fish, different species of sharks and rays, and occasional visits of Manta rays and Mola mola.

Snorkelers at Punta Vicente Roca
Snorkelers at the southern drop-off (snorkeling area 5 on the map below), with Punta Vicente Roca’s famous cave in the distance.

How to go snorkeling Punta Vicente Roca?

Punta Vicente Roca is only accessible by boat. Located north of Isabela Island, 125 miles away from the closest inhabited areas, the only way to visit the site is to go on a multi-day naturalist cruise.

Punta Vicente Roca is a popular stop for cruise ships visiting the western coast of Isabela but check that it is included in your itinerary.

Punta Vicente Roca snorkeling map, Isabela Island
Punta Vicente Roca snorkeling map, Isabela Island.

Water entrance for snorkeling Punta Vicente Roca

Water entrance is from the boat.

Punta Vicente Roca snorkeling tips and recommendations

Punta Vicente Roca features several snorkeling areas. The most visited is the shallow and sheltered bay (snorkeling area 1 on the map) edged by a rocky shore (itinerary 3). By following the drop-off southwards (itinerary 4), you’ll reach Punta Vicente Roca’s cave (snorkeling area 2). You can then continue to follow the shore (itinerary 5) until you reach the rocky point.

Orange-sided triggerfish at Punta Vicente Roca
An Orangeside triggerfish.

Punta Vincente Roca is known for its Galápagos green turtles, which can be spotted in the whole area. They are, however, particularly abundant in the sandy bay (area 1, ↕1-6 ft/0,5-2 m). Turtles gather here in such large numbers that sometimes 5 or 6 turtles can be spotted at the same time, floating on the surface of the sea or resting on the sand.

Other interesting features are the rocky walls found between the bay and the cave (itinerary 4) and south of the cave (itinerary 5). These are covered with cup corals, sponges, and anemones. By snorkeling along the rocks, you will see a diversity of fish, including triggerfish, hogfish, hawkfish, and wrasses.

Green sea turtles at Punta Vicente Roca
Punta Vicente Roca is one of the best turtle locations in Galápagos.

However, the most stunning snorkeling area at Punta Vicente Roca is the cave and its surroundings (area 2 on the map). This deeper area (maximum depth ↕26 ft/8 m) is where you may spot big animals.

Common sightings around the cave include Whitespotted eagle rays, Whitetip sharks, Green sea turtles, and Stingrays. If you are lucky, you may also encounter Manta rays or Mola Mola, which visit the nearby cleaning station.

Spotted eagle rays at Punta Vicente Roca
A small group of Pacific spotted eagle rays at Punta Vicente Roca.

Underwater visibility at this location is very random, like in many parts of the west coast of Isabela Island. Your snorkeling might be 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.