Galapagos is an archipelago of the volcanic islands that are located in Pacific Ocean. The surreal beauty of these islands, sprawled over 50,000 square kilometres, catches the fancy of thousands of tourist every year. Home to enormous wild life, the islands are a perfect getaway for nature enthusiasts.
The multitude of animal life inhabiting the area allures natural historians and anthropologists. Charles Darwin, during his visit to the area, studied a plethora of endemic species inhabiting the islands and later, based on his research work, propagated the theory of natural selection. Fringed by land masses like Ecuador, Easter Island, and Cocos Island, Galapagos comprises of 15 islands and a number of islets.
The islands of Galapagos are blessed with abundant natural beauty and rare wild life. Home to some of the rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, they are the visual treats to the onlookers.
Also called Floreana, the island is inhabited by green sea turtles, patapegada, and flamingos.
Photo Credit: Galapagosmap.com
You may find it interesting to watch Devil’s Crown, a volcano resting within waters.
Nestling iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, penguins, and many other exotic animals species, Ferdinada is a nice place to hang out.
Photo Credit: Galapagosmap.com
Formed by the lava of different types and origin, the island is spread to an area of about 640 sq kilometres.
With a history of about 35 million years and an inhabitation formed by mockingbirds, lava lizards, and tortoises, Espanola is an ideal place for natural historians and researchers.
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At gardener Bay, you can spend time over beach or invigorate you by some of the adventure sports like snorkelling, swimming etc.
This seahorse shaped Isabela is the largest of all Galapagos Islands. You can look forward to cormorants, hawks, iguanas, tortoises, and penguins scattered all over the island.
Photo Credit: Divingthegalapagos.com
While on a tour to this exotic place, you can also visit other islands like Rabida, Baltra, Pinzon, Genovesa, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Santiago to name a few.
Things to Do
There are a whole lot of things that you can do on these islands of stark beauty and crystal clear waters.
This adventurous activity gives you the excellent opportunity to be close to marine life. The best part is that the marine fauna is so varied from one place of Galapagos to the other that you need not bother about the ‘reshow’.
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Snorkel with aquatic animals like penguins, se lions, iguanas, and dolphins. As the waters here abound in plenty of fish, snorkelling allows you to swim with a multitude variety. Even if you are an amateur, you can have the entire fun. Just watch the remarkable procession of these lovely aquatic animals and capture them onto your cameras.
Galapagos is considered a haven for diving. The water currents here are usually large and it is not advisable to try a hand on diving if you are just a beginner.
Photo Credit: Cruisesingalapagos.com
While at some places, you can pursue local tours, places like Darwin Island need live-aboards. Diving lets you see an amazing number of sharks and other fish varieties.
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Though Galapagos are known for diving and snorkelling, surfing is also not a bad idea here.
Fun at Night
No need to miss city’s nightlife as a few nice clubs are present at Santa Cruz that let you chill and relax with your favourite drinks.
Besides snorkelling and diving, there is a lot to do at Galapagos. To have the panoramic view of the entire place, climb up Bartolome Hill. Enjoy horse riding at Sierra Negra Volcano or simply visit Darwin Research Station at Puerto Ayora. Relax at the pristine beach of Puerto Chino or give company to iguanas at Dragon Hill.
Reach Here and Roam About
There are only some restricted means of transport that let you do Galapagos. Take flights either from Quito or Guayaquil tat will take you to the airport at Isla Baltra. Another way is via private yachts that transport the passengers to any of the five ports. Cargo boats are also available on a weekly basis. In order to move around the islands, you must book a boat. Different range of cruises are available that let you explore Galapagos. Galasam Cruises are budget ones while Adventure Life, Enchanted Expeditions, and Explorer’s Corner are mid-ranged. If you are willing to spend too many bucks, go for Cheeseman’s Safaris or INCA or SunWind Travel.
Nice accommodations can be expected at San Cristobal, Puerto Ayora, Florena, Santa Cruz, and Puerto Villami. It is better if you make prior booking as it becomes almost impossible to do so during festive occasions. San Vicente, a hotel in Isabela Island is a nice option; it offers facilities like Wi-Fi and snorkelling apparatus. Cormorant Beach is situated near Puerto Villamil; its se-facing view offers fantastic views. Galapagos Suites offer air-conditioned rooms and other basic facilities. If you need a shuttle service, extra charges are levied.
Satiate your gusto of sea food at Galapagos that offers you several exotic delicacies. Restaurants with palatable dishes are present at specific locations. Almost all the boat tours are provided with food.
You can choose to buy key chains, t-shirts, and jewellery at the island shops. At Puerto Ayora, there are some fancy jewellery items that are worth buying.
Bring With You
You are advised to carry with you some necessary items like sunglasses, bug repellent, water shoes, mask, snorkel equipment, waterproof bags, binoculars etc. It is better to wear T-shirts while swimming with animals. Sweating profusely and getting dehydrated is a common problem here; so it is good if you bring some saltines to make up for the lost salts from your body. Take care of the motion sickness that is so common on islands.
A tour to Galapagos is highly invigorating and takes you to the other realm of the world. The experience, as you will see, is unique in itself. The close encounters with marine life leave an indelible impression upon your heart and you come home with a lot of unforgettable memories.