When it comes to vacation destinations, the Galapagos Islands should be at the top of your wish list. This amazing area is home to unique species that aren’t found anywhere else in the world, and most of the animals aren’t afraid of humans. This means that you can easily observe them in their natural habitat without enclosures. Here are five reasons Galapagos is a great vacation spot. More than 200,000 people a year make the voyage to Galapagos, although only about 80,000 get to cruise around the islands.
1. The Perfect Blend of Nature and Wildlife
The islands are home to amazing species such as the Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, and flightless cormorants. No wonder why one of the reasons Galapagos always make the top list of favorite destinations when it comes to wildlife. You can opt to take tours with naturalist guides to learn more about the special features of the amazing animals. Face-to-face encounters are common because the animals are so comfortable around people. In fact, you may have to constantly remind yourself that touching is not allowed because some of the species will come right up next to you!
Some reasons Galapagos Islands stand out is the impressive blend of subantarctic and tropical animals. You’ll find sea lions on the same beaches as marine iguanas, or penguins next to tropical mangroves, and you can snorkel along the many coral reefs to see marine life that’s endemic to the islands.
When not admiring the animals, you’ll be amazed by the views. The Galapagos has everything from remote mangroves to cliffs and coasts. You can relax on a beach, travel through lava tunnels, and explore dormant volcanoes all in one impressive region.
2. Step Back in Time
Largely untouched by man, the Galapagos Islands provide you with an opportunity to step back in time for a few days. The area is protected as a National Park of Ecuador, and 97 percent of the land mass remains uninhabited by humans. This allows you to explore remote areas and see animals in their natural surroundings. You can certainly follow the footsteps of Charles Darwin himself, as many locations will be the same ones explored back in September/October 1835 while on board the HMS Beagle. The kids can have fun playing pirate as they snorkel in the shallow waters. If you’re looking for a place that provides you with amazing sights without technology, and the chance to understand how processes such as natural selection occur, then the Galapagos is sure to please you. Better yet, take a selfie right at the Charles Darwin monument in San Cristobal Island!
3. The Underwater World
With so much attention focused on the land, it’s easy to forget that there is an underwater world teeming with amazing fish and other creatures. There are numerous areas where you can go snorkeling or scuba diving, and you can always just wade into the shallow waters along different beaches. You’ll see white-tipped sharks, sea lions and other animals. It is highly advisable that, if the ocean is your cup of tea, go and invest in a good underwater camera.
In addition to getting in the water, there are locations where you can enjoy some time on the water. Kayaking between rising cliffs, a coastal exploration outing, or even just beachcombing can be greatest add ons to the underwater realm of the Galapagos. Be prepared for young animals to try to engage you in some games and come home with memories that you’ll always cherish.
4. Be Part of an 18th-century Tradition
There was a time when letters were simply carried along by travelers. Whaling ships in the 18th century frequented the islands, and they set up a barrel where they could leave letters for fellow travelers to pick up and carry to their destination. That tradition continues at Post Office Bay. Dig through the barrel to see if there’s a postcard going to your own hometown and make the hand delivery, just as centuries ago. While you’re there, leave one for some other people to deliver. The barrel has grown over the years as people have added signs and other vessels, so it’s becoming a tourist attraction in and of itself. You can also spend a little time enjoying the sandy beaches and local waters.
5. Reasons Galapagos is Perfect for Families
This region has something for everyone in the family. Some reasons Galapagos is perfect for families is that you’ll be able to get the kids unplugged while they’re on vacation to enjoy the natural landscapes. Kids young and old will enjoy seeing the animals up close and personal, and the water activities add interest to the trip. You can take the family to explore some of the local settlements, or you may decide to spend a day climbing volcanoes to see the incredible views. With so many options, multi-generational travel is King while in the Galapagos Islands!
Another benefit of visiting the island is that this is nature’s ultimate classroom. Your children can walk on the same lava rocks and beaches that inspired Darwin. They can learn more about what humankind is doing to restore the original fragile world of the archipelago at the Charles Darwin Research Center. You’ll bond as a family, and you’ll come home with incredible memories that will last a lifetime.
When you visit the Galapagos, be sure to take your camera with you along with a few extra memory cards. You’ll take an incredible amount of pictures of your family and the wildlife. The days and nights are equal in length, so you’ll be active both during the day and after dark. With so much to do and see, you can easily stay busy during the entire vacation.