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.

Snorkeling with sea turtles at Vicente Roca Point, Galapagos

How to get there?

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.

Water entrance

Drop offs are made directly from the boat.

Vicente Roca Point snorkeling map, Isabela

Exploration

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.

Checkered puffer at Vicente Roca Point

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.

Galapagos sea turtle at Vicente Roca Point

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).

Restaurant and accommodation

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 Intermediary
  • 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.