It is really incredible to see a lion while it sleeps, now, you imagine it permanently, engraved on a big rock, because this is the case of the Sleeping Lion Rock that together with its exceptional landscapes make it an excellent place to enjoy the peace and harmony of it and if you want a little adventure, this place is also a paradise suitable for scuba diving.
In the middle of the sea, northwest of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is this ancient and eroded volcanic tuff rock. The Sleeping Lion or Kicker Rock, is formed by two rocks that rise 500 feet from the ocean, that is, they are 148 m high, so named for its resemblance to a sleeping lion.
To avoid soil erosion and protect it, it is possible to reach it only by sea. What is a bit complicated is to leave from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, from here it can be reached in about 2 hours. Another option to reach the Roca is from the capital of Galapagos, Puerto Ayora, on the island of Santa Cruz, a 4-hour trip. Once there, a new world appears: sea lions, sharks, numerous species of fish and corals follow one after the other.
There are two ways to reach the Sleeping Lion in Galapagos. First, through a navigable cruise ship that includes the Lion in its itinerary. Second, by taking a tour from San Cristobal Island.
The “Sleeping Lion” is not only located in a unique enclave, but everyone says that it is possibly one of the places in all of Galapagos where we can find more marine life.
Between the rocks an exceptional channel is formed and its waters are preferred by professional underwater swimmers, oxygen divers and snorkelers who can reach up to 100 meters deep in their dives.
The adrenaline rises the moment you enter the huge crevice that divides the “structure”. In its interior accumulates the greatest concentration of fauna of the whole rock.
In its steep vertical walls also rest a variety of birds (including the Nazca booby) that we can see perfectly from the channel, although the most “intense” moment (to say the least) occurs when we are attacked (literally) by a strange bird that must think we are invading its territory.
It is very interesting and diverse the type of flora that we can find here, there are areas of miconia and ferns, but the most remarkable are the mangroves, which are the main type of plants of this coastal area, which are able to tolerate high levels of salt.
The fauna is not left behind, since this place is a favorite of various species of exotic birds that seek to protect their nests in this paradisiacal place. Therefore, birds can be observed and photographed here, since they are accustomed to the visit of tourists.
It is extraordinary the great variety of exotic birds that guard their nests in this paradisiacal place. Among the birds that can be observed are the red-breasted frigate birds, hundreds of blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, pelicans perched in small caves and sea lions on the coasts.
In this islet you can observe various marine species, depending on the season you can find dolphins, whales, also sharks and other species of fish, such as barracudas and rainbow fish. The walls are amazingly colorful and you will almost certainly have sightings of great marine fauna, including octopuses and many sharks such as hammerhead sharks, white-tip reef sharks and Galapagos sharks. Other marine creatures encountered include turtles, rays and sea lions.
Outstanding sites and activities that can be found at Sleeping Lion Rock are:
Kicker Lion Obelisk.
It consists of a rocky crag in the shape of an obelisk that emerges from the sea and the rest of the island. Between the rocks there is a channel that can be crossed in a small boat.
Diving in Leon Dormido
During the dive, we can observe sea lions, which use this place as a resting place, and sporadically some open water species such as sea turtles, eagle rays, golden rays, barracudas, among other species.
In this place you can take panga tours around this spectacular geological formation of Galapagos. It is advisable to make a circumnavigation with the larger boat to better appreciate it. If you do so, it is recommended that passengers have binoculars handy to observe the animals that sporadically use these rocks as resting or nesting places.
The rock is an important nesting site for tropical birds, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds. The surrounding waters are clear and allow you to observe the rocks and marine life on the seabed.
We depart from Puerto Baquerizo from where we will start our boat trip to the northwest. We will travel the 18 kilometers that separate the islet from the port, bordering the north coast of the island with a trip of approximately 2 hours.
Taking the risk of visiting this place is one of the best experiences you could live, swimming among fish, meeting sharks, seeing the exotic flora that this place has to offer, without a doubt, the best thing you could live.