The Galapagos Islands are an intriguing destination for seasoned travelers. They provide unparalleled access to native wildlife, educational experience for the whole family, astonishing landscapes, and some of the most pristine beaches in the world.
If you’ve already viewed Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, grilled shrimp on the barbie in the Australian Outback and tracked lions during a safari in Kenya, then you’re probably looking for your next adventure-filled vacation destination. The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, are a must-see destination for seasoned travelers.
A cruise around the Islands is one of the best ways to experience the pristine beauty and abundant wildlife of the Galapagos archipelago. Metropolitan Touring offers a variety of luxury expedition cruises that will suit anyone’s tastes, whether you’re looking for an educational family vacation or a romantic snorkeling getaway. With that in mind, here are the top nine reasons to visit the Galapagos Islands and some interesting myths that potential travelers may run into it. The more research you do on the destination, the better your final decision.
There is a widely held myth that travelers can only reach Galapagos Island through an arduous trip, but that’s simply not true in the 21st century. A Galapagos cruise makes the journey especially easy because you simply fly to one of the international-gateway cities in Ecuador (Quito, the capital, or, Guayaquil, the largest city) and then fly out to the islands and board the ship in the Galapagos. Cruising in comfort has never been this easy.
There’s nothing children love more than wild animals, and the untouched natural habitat of the Galapagos archipelago means that the islands are like the world’s largest national park. Your young ones can get their photos taken next to the islands’ iconic emblem, the Galapagos giant tortoise, or they can get an up-close view of the cuddly Galapagos sea lions sunning themselves on the beaches. Metropolitan Touring also offers different ways of catering to families and their young ones by organizing special children-friendly activities on board, and here’s how an expedition cruise can turn what seems to be another family trip into a unique bonding opportunity for all family members.
Sun worshipers won’t want to miss out on the chance to enjoy the Galapagos’ beautiful beaches. There are many great beaches in different parts of the world (Florida, Caribbean, California, etc), but most of them can get overcrowded and noisy. That’s not the case in the Galapagos where you can enjoy a peaceful, and relaxing time next to unique wildlife and providing you with access to some of the most rewarding snorkeling you’ll ever find on this planet. You can watch the abundant wildlife, such as red-and-black marine iguanas, sea lions frolicking in the water, a torpedo-like penguin underwater, or you can kayak to explore the islands’ coastline. The sand on the beaches is another example of the Galapagos’ great diversity. The beaches come in a rainbow of colors, including white sand made from eroded white coral, red sand made from aged iron and green sand made from olivine-infused basalt. The real beauty, however, is how pristine it feels to be here.
A cruise to the Galapagos is the trip of a lifetime for avid bird watchers. The archipelago is home to a vast array of avian wildlife, and many experienced birders come to the Galapagos for that reason alone. A cruise with Metropolitan Touring will give you the chance to get up close to rare species like the Galapagos albatross, the blue-footed booby, the Galapagos penguin, Darwin’s finches, frigatebirds, and the flightless cormorant.
Even if birding isn’t your cup of tea, the islands are still worth exploring every inch of them. Where else along the equator will you find a penguin species that call the islands home. You’ll have a chance to view the Galapagos penguins up close while they’re taking care of their young, sunning themselves on the rocks and diving for fish in the bay. Keep in mind this is the most northerly of all penguins on Earth and the only one who nests on both hemispheres.
The Caribbean and the Australian coast are known as the world’s premier destinations for snorkeling enthusiasts, but the waters off the Galapagos are one of the best-kept secrets in the snorkeling world. The pristine blue ocean will give you the chance to view underwater wildlife up close. In addition, you’ll be able to see the amphibious animals like the marine iguanas and Galapagos fur seals gracefully glide through the ocean. It is not much about the corals or the many tropical fishes, but the striking combination of animals living here: penguins, sea lions, tropical fishes, dolphins, fur seals, flightless cormorants, and more.
The islands are a dream destination for photographers, whether you’re a professional who is looking for some unusual shots to add to your portfolio or you’re just an amateur who wants to share your family’s vacation snaps on Instagram. There are several “musts” for Galapagos photographers, including capturing one of the beautiful Pacific sunsets and getting a photo of your family next to one of the gentle giant tortoises. A personal favorite lately is a “selfie” right next to Charles Darwin’s monument on the island of San Cristobal.
British naturalist Charles Darwin is renowned around the world for his groundbreaking theory of evolution that explains the vast diversity of life on earth through the process of natural selection. Darwin refined his theory during his presence in the islands back in 1835. Although he didn’t see the islands as a scientist, it is through his keen power of observation that gets him to analyze things from a totally different angle. The Charles Darwin Research Station, which is a stop on Metropolitan Touring’s Galapagos cruises, is dedicated to biological research and the preservation of the wildlife and marine life of the Galapagos Islands. Naturalist guides will have plenty of chances to share a little about Darwin’s special connection with the islands.
If you haven’t seen Machu Picchu in Peru, a Galapagos cruise is the best way to cross both of those destinations off your bucket list. Take a look t how many Unesco’s World Heritage properties are being brought to you by Metropolitan Touring: Quito, Galapagos Islands, Cuenca, Lima, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and more. Metropolitan Touring offers 12-day cruises to both destinations that will take you on a deluxe tour of the ancient Inca site and the islands. This can be a fantastic way of conveying natural and cultural attributes all in one voyage.