I take a sharp intake of air as my head comes out of the deep blue Pacific ocean and into the warm Ecuadorian sunshine. I wait for the dive boat and I feel certain I will not top this experience again in my lifetime.

My dive partner and I had just completed our second dive in the amazing volcanic Galápagos Islands. These islands have never been in close proximity to any significant land mass and all the native species are unique in that they have arrived by either  swimming, floating or flying to the destination. With larger animals being unable to make the long journey, there are no significant predators which makes the native inhabitants exceptionally tame.

Sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) laze in the sun unbothered by passing tourists on Espanola Island.  And it is because of this tameness that diving in the Galápagos Islands can probably not be rivalled. You can swim and actually play with some of the major animal aquatic “stars” such as the Marine Iguanas, Galapagos Penguins and Fur Seals with the only limit being your oxygen tank capacity.