Vicente Roca Point is one of the most well-known snorkeling spots of the Galápagos islands. Located north of Isabela island, it is featured in the itinerary of numerous cruises organized around the archipelago, usually including a one-day stop. Although the spot is known for its high concentration of green turtles, sharks and rays can also be observed when underwater visibility is good.
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 on the archipelago. Make sure when booking that the site is included in the itinerary.
Drop offs are made directly from the boat.
The area to be explored is the richest part of the bay (see map above). Along the shores, the seabed is rocky for about ten meters (↕0,5-2m/1-6ft) before becoming grey sand (↕2-3m/6-10ft).
Vincente Roca Point is renowned for its Galápagos green turtles, which are very numerous on 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. Others can be found peacefully resting on the seabed sand with their flippers retracted under their shell.
Along the rocky shore, you can often see Mexican hogfish, diagonal butterflyfish, and dusky wrasses. Silvertip sharks, ocean sunfish and seahorses also inhabit the area, but aren’t so easily spotted while snorkeling.
During their snorkeling outing, the luckiest ones can come across a Galápagos penguin or a flightless cormorant (endemic on Isabela and Fernandina Islands), both of 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 surreptitiously diving into the water to hunt for food.
Underwater visibility on this site is very random, like many parts of the west coast of Isabela Island. It is not uncommon that snorkeling outings are cancelled due to poor visibility (due to overly green/opaque water).
Vicente Roca Point is an entirely natural site, which can only be visited by embarking on a multi-day and full board naturalist cruise.
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.
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocky drop off with turtles, penguins, sea horses and cormorants
Rocky drop off with turtles, sea lions and many fish
Rocky drop off with starfish, turtles, sharks and penguins
Santa Cruz Island
Rocky seabed with sharks, turtles and many fish
Series of rocky pools with sharks, turtles and sea horses
Rocky lagoon with turtles, rays, sea lions and penguins
Get monthly updates on trending destinations, amazing snorkeling trips, useful snorkel gear tips, and so much more.