Upon arrival in San Cristobal, we went from shop to shop looking for some sort of snorkeling tour we could do the next day. After talking to numerous places, it became clear that the 360 Tour was our best option because it involved the most snorkeling, even though our prior research had suggested it was a tour we might want to skip.
So, what is the 360 Tour? Basically, it is boat ride all the way around the island. When it first started, fishermen sold the tours and you would ride in uncomfortable fishing boats. Today, many of those fishermen have invested in more comfortable speed boats and that is the type of boat we took.
The first stop is Kicker Rock, which is a rock formation in the middle of the ocean. The water is cold (even during the warm season a wet suit is required), but . . . Wow! If you come to San Cristobal, you must, must, must snorkel at Kicker Rock.
See the space between the two rocks? Well, that is a great place to see hammerhead sharks. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any hammerheads, but we did see this guy.
And, if you get close to the walls of those rocks, the fish are amazing. Check these guys out.
While we didn’t get to see a hammerhead, we saw so many green sea turtles we lost count. In fact, we saw so many green sea turtles we became blase about seeing turtles. Seriously, when you are bored with turtles, you know there are a ton of turtles swimming around. Check this guy out.
And we saw a hawksbill turtle, which is apparently quite rare. And, there was a playful sea lion swimming with us for a bit. And, we were very close to a spotted eagle ray. Kicker Rock was simply amazing. In fact, it was so amazing that we booked a separate tour just to snorkel again at Kicker Rock. The snorkeling tour was even better than the 360 Tour, as we got to be in the water quite a bit longer and we even got to enter into a crack in the rocks where we bounced up and down with the waves. Sadly, that video didn’t turn out very well so we can’t show you how cool it was.
Back to the 360 Tour . . . . Next, we stopped at a small beach for “free time.” We spent most of the time snorkeling. We saw huge parrot fish and several schools of hundreds of little fish.
After that, we jumped back on the boat for a spot of fishing. Unfortunately, the boat didn’t catch anything. We did, however, get to see lots of boobies bobbing in the ocean and a few juveniles flew right behind the boat, enjoying the air currents.
The boat then stopped at some beach where we had a boxed lunch of rice and chicken or fish. We then got out for the last snorkeling attempt. Unfortunately, the water was beyond murky and I started freaking out because I couldn’t see anything and the other snorkelers kept running into me. So, we quit early. But, before quitting, I saw a turtle that was bigger than me. Amazing.
There are numerous shops selling the 360 Tour. I can’t remember which company we booked with, but I do remember we paid $140 a piece. The naturalist was one of the best we have had on any of our day trips. He even stopped to tell some people who weren’t on our trip to back away from a sea lion. We were glad we took the trip even if, once again, we were served snacks in single serve packages.
* In light of the Covid-19 situation, we are no longer traveling. This post reflects pre-pandemic travel. We are sheltering in place and hope you are doing the same. Stay safe.