Travelers to the Galapagos might be under the impression that its lands are mainly for observing the wildlife and local flora. However, these expansive islands are perfect for active adventures. Cruises to and within the Galapagos will usually incorporate these activities into their daily itineraries. If you’re looking for an experience unlike any other, take a close look at the Galapagos adventures you can take while discovering these remote lands.
Kayaking is one of the most popular Galapagos adventures because it provides a glimpse of the lands that are impossible to reach by foot. Hop into a two-person kayak and start paddling. You can set a goal by reaching a unique shoreline, and then float close to it as you observe birds, marine life and other natural wonders. In fact, the marine life is so friendly in these waters that sea lions are known to swim close to a kayak out of sheer curiosity.
When you kayak with a cruising tour, you’ll receive instructions for safe use in the water. Older children are welcome to kayak if they feel comfortable with the process. Each kayak has comfortable seating in order to encourage longer trips out to the islands. Your upper arms will have the workout of a lifetime as you discover all there is to see within the Galapagos.
Itinerary higlights 4 nights Northern Galapagos
2. Scuba Diving
One of the greatest thrills you can experience in the Galapagos is scuba diving. Dive deep under the water’s surface and live with the fishes and penguins for a short while. Although brightly colored fish are a huge attraction for novice divers, experienced divers are looking for those distinct marine animals that are difficult to find elsewhere. Hammerhead and whale sharks have been spotted in these waters, so keep a sharp eye out for these amazing creatures.
Being active underwater also means staying safe. Your Finch Bay host will contact the local diving outfitter, who will go over all of the safety parameters required of each diver before the session begins. Age and health restrictions might be imposed.
If you’re not comfortable with diving into deep water, you can still explore the Galapagos adventure by snorkeling. With a mask and breathing tube, you can swim for long periods without losing sight of a ray or favorite fish species. One particular benefit of snorkeling is its relative quiet nature. Scuba gear may scare some wildlife away with bubbles and pressurized sounds. When you snorkel, you become one with the ocean. Watch fish float past your mask as they simply go about their day.
Be on the lookout for blue chinned parrotfish, puffer fish, yellow-tailed surgeonfish and other distinct species. In fact, more than 400 fish species have been spotted in the Galapagos region over the years. Each island has a slightly different water habitat surrounding it, so the fish species will differ with each snorkeling adventure.
4. Galapagos adventures on a Glass Bottom Boat
Santa Cruz II, Yacht La Pinta and Isabela II are some of the very few vessels that include a Glass Bottom Boat permanently on board. This converted Boston whaler, with ample floor “windows”, railings and a convenient canvas canopy, are ideal to witness the underwater world of Galapagos for anyone who doesn´t snorkel. Small language oriented groups are led by one naturalist guide in shallow and clear waters, where the national Park permits, to explore the underwater world.
Glass Bottom Boats are easily accessed from one of the pangas, and allows sufficient time for a rewarding ride with a glimpse of the Galapagos reefs. See the frolicking sea lions and fur seals, marvel at the swift underwater “flight” of Galapagos Penguins, the streamlined shapes of sharks and rays, or the peaceful strokes of sea turtles.
5. Beach Discovery
Hitting the beach may not seem like an active adventure, but the Galapagos is unique when it comes to animal encounters. Pull out a beach towel, find a relaxing spot and watch for curious animals that just want to explore. It’s not unheard of for marine iguanas and sea lions to scamper near you when they want a break from their daily tasks.
Relaxing on the beach can also be an active exercise when you’re observing the area for particular birds. Giant waved albatrosses and three species of boobies are commonly found within the Galapagos. They might land nearby so that you can capture them on film. Look for Darwin’s finches too because they’re famous for their evolutionary significance.
6. Volcano Exploration
Isabela island is known for its amazing volcanoes, including Sierra Negra. Depending on the cruise tour, you can walk near the volcano and possibly look into its caldera. Many adventurers are attracted to the Galapagos because of its volcanic base, which is similar to Hawaii’s physical structure. Explore lava fields with a nature expert as you realize that the volcano’s action is what creates the islands in the first place.
Bring older children on this adventure because it has significant educational value. Kids can learn about volcanoes and their contribution to land formation. The wild lava fields are rarely walked upon by human feet. Take photos and continue to explore the volcanic area for the best adventure on vacation. Sierra Negra is part of our New Island Hopping package of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
Biking on select islands in the Galapagos means that you have a simple tool to reach obscure locations. Get away from the crowded city areas by hopping on your bike and following the guide. You’ll be able to see natural areas where only bikers can truly explore. Some areas are just too difficult to reach by foot.
Biking shortens your travel time between activities too. Hike the volcano in the morning, bike over to the beach and relax the afternoon away at the shore. Use your bike to get close to wildlife that would be scared off by falling footsteps. The Galapagos adventures are yours to discover.