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Why Visit the Galapagos Islands?

Why Visit the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos is made up of 14 main bodies and 6 small isles in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Part of the Ecuadorean government, it is an archipelago, a collection of islands about 620 miles off of Ecuador’s coast. The region has plenty of friendly wildlife and gorgeous landscapes, making it an attractive destination for anyone looking for a tranquil exploration of nature. Depending on the island, you can enjoy surfing, volcanic rocks or white sand beaches. Learn more about why visit the Galapagos Islands before your trip.

Relaxing beach Galapagos Islands

Relaxing beach Galapagos Islands

The islands of Galapagos have their own characteristics in terms of scenery, wildlife and vegetation. You are more likely to run into tattlers or turnstones in one area and a variety of coastal birds in another. Sites are trailed, often walking along uneven boulders or rough lava, and there can be wet landings that will be traveled by dinghies or rafts. Snorkeling is a strong component of what makes the Galapagos so unique, so expect to snorkel at least once every day.  A world of adventure awaits you in the Galapagos.

Snorkeling in Galapagos

Snorkeling in Galapagos

When and why visit the Galapagos Islands

Why visit the Galapagos Islands and when to go? The region has a wondrous climate year-round, but when to visit should be based on your personal tastes. Any time of the year can be considered high season because there are not that many vessels to go on, and so it is highly recommended to book way in advance.  Quite naturally, summer travel, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s eve, etc, are very busy times in the islands. The winter months are a great time to get away from the cold back home in the Northern Hemisphere. During these colder months, most days on the islands have sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s despite the potential for a quick downpour.

Espanola Island during the Hot Season

Espanola Island during the Hot Season

Why visit the Galapagos Islands from June to November? If you prefer cooler weather, this season would be perfect for you. Seas may get a bit rough, but there can be great waves for surfing, and experienced divers say the colder waters attract marine life, making it more likely you’ll run into schools of whale sharks and hammerhead sharks. Birds such as boobies, albatrosses, pelicans, and more will be quite active in these months as the ocean provides great quantities of food. Courtship ritual are true highlights at this time of the year.

Galapagos weather

Galapagos weather

Enjoy the Wildlife of the Galapagos Islands

Why visit the Galapagos Islands for nature lovers? The landscapes are natural, volcanic and beautiful, interact with sea lions, penguins, iguanas, giant tortoises and an extraordinary bird populace. Among the destination’s storied history are its ecosystems being the foundation for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection.

Tortoise Highlands

Tortoise Highlands

Tourism on the islands is carefully monitored in order to ensure the protection of wildlife and keep resources pristine. There is the famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island sponsored by the Darwin Foundation that will help you appreciate the island’s history and desire to preserve it. Many visitors find the Tortoise Breeding Center in Puerto Villamil to be incredibly interesting, but there’s also the Galapagos Interpretation Center in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island.

Visitors to the islands of the Galapagos are often awestruck by the inspiring clear views on Bartolome Island or the azure waters at Gardner Bay on Española Island. Santa Cruz Island is lush with ever green vegetation up in the highlands together with prickly-pear cactus. On all the islands, animals are not fearful of human contact. On San Cristobal Island, it’s not unusual to interact with sea lions and other wildlife.

Landscape in Galapagos

Landscape in Galapagos

One of the most popular activities in the Galapagos is snorkeling. Bring a waterproof camera and immerse yourself in a world of fish, sea lions, sea turtles and more. Scuba diving is also popular. There are daily dives with local tour operators on Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal, or you can head out on the water by utilizing a liveaboard, a vessel designed as a residence. Primary destinations for diving are Wolf and Darwin islands, both of which are only accessible by liveaboards. Not recommended for the novice, the diving in those regions can be challenging, but it is also the best opportunity to run into giant mantas, sting and eagle rays, tuna, sea turtles, hammerheads and even whale sharks. If scuba diving is your thing, you must bring with you your C-card. Getting certified in the islands is another viable option.

Moorish Idol Fish Galapagos

Moorish Idol Fish Galapagos

The Galapagos is a hidden treasure for surfers, its climate responsible for some amazing waves. You may want to fish in the reserve, hike across the highlands for greater perspective of island formations, or enjoy the Wall of Tears. Bike rentals are available. You can also enjoy kayaking, horseback riding and other great ways to spend your vacation days.

Traveling to the Galapagos Islands

It is great to travel on a Galapagos cruise across calming waters. The cost will cover accommodations, food, island activities, lectures, and transportation, and your cruise ship will travel between islands while you sleep and dine. By the time you arrive to each island, you will be well rested and prepared for exploring exciting new worlds.

If you want to learn about the Galapagos, a cruise will be an ideal education. You will not only have access to top facilities and delicious meals; you will also spend the trip with a staff member who is familiar with all things Galapagos. You can schedule a series of stimulating and safe expeditions with expert guides. A trip to the Galapagos archipelago by cruise can be an incredibly affordable and educational adventure, interesting tours tips you should know to have a wonderful Galapagos trip.

Activities Galapagos

Activities Galapagos

Blog Reviewed & Edited by: Francisco Dousdebés
All Images: Francisco Dousdebés

Francisco Dousdebes

Francisco “Pancho” Dousdebés is an Ecuadorian, born in Quito. Early in life he developed a special interest in natural sciences and a special predilection for the outdoors. After finishing high school in Ecuador, he travelled abroad as an exchange student and landed in the Midwest of the United States. Afterwards, Francisco studied Biology and, in 1986, had a great opportunity land right in his hands: to become a Naturalist Guide for the Galapagos National Park.

Currently, he is the Galápagos Product Manager for Yacht La Pinta, Yacht Isabela II and the Boutique Hotel Casa Gangotena in Quito. He loves to promote the beauty of Ecuador all over the World, and has participated in many Trade Shows, International Forums, and Roadshows together with the Ministry of Tourism and Quito Turismo. He is keen on explaining the role of sustainability in fragile destinations, and also gives lectures on Ecuador’s natural history, natural selection, evolution, and sustainable tourism. Traveling is certainly one of his passions, and whenever he has free time, he has already surely arrived at his next exploration destination.

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