Fragata enjoys tending to visitors from many
parts of the world because of the curiosity they bring on each sailing of our
yacht and each of our tours. Natural wonders await, as the islands of Galapagos host incredible wonders for everyone to see. From incredible landscapes, to
paradise beaches and immensely diverse wildlife, coming to visit the archipelago is much more than a treat. Said curiosity from foreigners is reciprocate, as it
has been seen through the years that sea lions are not afraid to
interact with them.
An incredible graceful creature, the Galapagos sea lion is terribly funny and the first sight you’ll get when you get
here; they’re widely abundant in the archipelago and even some can be
found in Isla de Plata, which is at a small distance from mainland.
Wherever you go, you might be surprised by the most ubiquitous of encounters
with one of these adventurous animals!
A closer look into the species
The first thing you’ll notice when
looking at sea lions in the archipelago is their size difference.
Males tend to be larger, bulkier than females, and are easily distinguishable
by the small protuberance in their heads. Females are slimmer and tiny.
They’re called sea lions but
funnily enough, they make bark-like sounds to communicate with each other. Tour
guides often describe their social displays as ‘shows’, a term they coin
because sea lions are kind of aware that they’re getting visits every
day. They gather in small groups and play with each other, just swaying with
their necks and biting their noses.
They’re not always friendly, though.
You’ll have to thread carefully when being near them because this physical
activity has a purpose: It’s a test of their strength and a sort of training
they go through, before fighting for territory to be able to mate with the
females of those certain areas.
They’re also big fans of taking long,
long naps. This they do on their own or in groups, to keep each other warm.
Whenever you see a bunch of sea lions just laying on top of each other,
it means they’re dreaming of next adventures!
Galapagos sea lions are distant
relatives of the Californian sea lions, and both species share some
behavioral traits. It should be noted that continuous exposure to human
presence in the archipelago has made our individuals, much more friendly
and prone to interact with people.
In that respect, they’re smart enough
to be able to mimic divers, to the point of approaching them and swimming as
they do, bursting air bubbles out of their snouts, as if they were snorkeling
Their diet is primarily based off of
sardines, which swirl by the thousands in the islands’ waters, but they also
feed from many other fish species.
Mommy sea lions take care of their
babies for at least a year, creating a strong mother-puppy bond. Baby sea
lions cry for their mommies in a distinctive way so they can recognize each
other more easily.
Last census registered an estimate of
50,000 sea lions in the Galapagos.
Attitude and what to expect from sea lions in Galapagos
It’s important to know that these
animals are precious to islanders and conservation organizations in Galapagos,
so you must be especially careful when interacting with them. Many tourists
have had the opportunity to be around them up close but that happens very
rarely, as the males are very territorial and females are overprotective of
It’s also common to get glimpses of
their affectionate, care-free attitudes while staying at hotels. They treat
everywhere as their home! Expect them to come hang out on the bunk next to
yours at your hotel’s beach areas, and say hello! It’ll be the cutest thing
you’ll ever see!
At Fragata, we hold sea
lions in a special place, in our hearts, and hopefully, when you get to
meet them, you will too!