"Los Tunneles Tour, the turtle paradise" Top 5 Page for this destination Diving and Snorkeling Tip by richiecdisc

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The surreal landscape of Los Tunneles would have been enough in itself but then we saw what seemed a non-top tour of passing marine turtles. Some were huge and it seemed all different colors including one particularly beautiful red one. The water was so clear it made taking photos of them an easy task. It almost looks like I took them while snorkeling! This was all so amazing we almost forgot this was in fact a snorkel tour and soon our captain said it was time to get in the water. Unfortunately, he also explained we were not allowed in this particular area as it was a big breeding area but he said we'd see turtles if we looked hard enough. So, we got into out wet suits which was a good thing as the water was surprisingly cold. The visibility was amazing and we all soon went our own ways, there was a labyrinth of waterways and I soon forgot about the turtles and started to worry more about getting lost! It was amazing swimming through the arches and if one was quite adept you could go through a tunnel.

We got pretty far from the boat and actually into the area we first entered from the sea. The water was even colder so we quickly turned back. On our way back and with no warning we were right next to a huge marine turtle. We tried to swim with it and it toyed with us momentarily before a few flips of his legs put him not only out of reach but even sight. We saw a few smaller ones that let us get closer, not yet having the experience to fear public enemy #1, man. The next thing we knew our captain was calling us back in. We swam back as quickly as we could. We were surprised we could find our way and I had imagined having to climb up on the lava arches and yelling to be rescued. But we did manage to make it back with stories to tell. Not everyone was as lucky as we were but this was no time to gloat and everyone was ecstatic about the tour.

I'd have to say it was the best $35 I spent in all of Ecuador. These tours more or less go out when they have enough people to make it worth their while unless you want to charter the whole boat. One good thing about staying in a hostel is you meet other people interested in doing the same kind of stuff you want to do and that's pretty much how this all worked. We got a group together and it just happened. Some people had been waiting some time to do it but I guess we just lucked out when it fell during our three days there. We used Isabella Dive Center which had very good equipment. Since we booked both Los Tunneles and the Bay Tour with them we talked them into letting us keep our gear to snorkel on our own at Concha Perla too.

Directions: Los Tunneles is at the southernmost end of Isabella.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 2, 2008
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