The outrageous Galapagos Islands, in Ecuador, are volcanic islands settled on the either sides of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean. These islands are best known for the massive number of rare species and outstanding scenic topography.
Unblemished by human activities, these islands are truly a mammoth of an unbelievably unique landscape coupled with friendly wildlife like naughty sea lions that could make you jump on your toes.
This one trip can most certainly inspire you to think quite differently about the world. So, grab your backpacks and put all the essentials in it before we traverse through these terrains.
Let’s Rewind A Bit
The historic Galapagos Islands were almost unheard of until the great explorer Darwin visited there in 1845. His observations and findings later blossomed into the inception of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Thankfully, humans are not the kingpins here. Here, the wild and the exotic do the business. As we jaunt across these islands, you will witness an awe-inspiring masterpiece of nature.
How to get there?
The major and the most cardinal speciality of the outrageous Galapagos is their Isolation. Contradicting this specialty is the fact that the process to reach this magnificent archipelago is simple. The very first destination is mainland Ecuador. Both United States and Europe provide direct flights to Guayaquil or Ecuador’s capital, Quito.
When is the best time to go?
April & May and September & October are considered to be their low season months. During this time, tourism in the Galapagos decreases and the prices are relatively low because of fewer footfalls. An ideal time if you wish to experience its unparalleled beauty in its natural habitat.
In the high season, bookings are made in advance and months before the expeditions. Last minute bookings might not be satisfactory as fewer boat options will be there. June to December is known as the dry season as the weather is cooler and pleasant. You will find blue skies and a little sprinkle in the day.
What’s there to see?
During the dry season, sea mammals and land birds adding grace to the Galapagos islands. The waved albatross flies all the way from Espanola Island to Galapagos and hangs around for the remaining year. In the month of October, their procreation is the highlight. Other species such as lizards and marine animals breed in different seasons and their mobility is mostly in the water.
Fast Fact: The Galapagos have some of the world’s sporadic animals for tourists to see them in person.
The Galapagos have much more abundance of birds rather than reptiles or mammals. You can find 13 different species of finches in these volcanic islands. Each species have swiftly adapted to the climatic and environmental conditions of the outrageous Galapagos Islands. You can find them in the archipelago, typically at any time of the year.
You can also find ‘The Galapagos Mockingbirds’ which are relatively bigger than the finches. These socially active creatures can be seen almost all of the year in these islands. One of the most frequently visible birds is ‘The Short-eared Owl’, seen winging over the archipelago and is often seen hunting in Genovesa. Some other species include; the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Dove and Smooth-billed ani and various Galapagos seabirds.
The Galapagos Islands are abode to some of the most fascinating reptiles i.e. iguanas, giant tortoises and lava lizards to name a few. The Galapagos Islands offer exemplary climatic conditions for these reptiles to flourish. Some of the most common reptiles seen are Marine Iguanas, Galapagos Land Iguanas, Lava lizards and Giant Tortoises.
Fast Fact: The late giant Pinta tortoise, ‘Lonesome George’ was the oldest element of Galapagos family. He aged 90 years.
The Marine Wildlife
The Galapagos Islands allow tourists to snorkel and dive into the marine wildlife which is a great way to engage with these aquatic creatures up close. Some of the most routine fishes seen are the Yellow-tailed Surgeon Fish, Sergeant-major, Parrot Fish and King Angelfish. You can also see the sea turtle across the shores and in the shallow waters.
Other aquatic beings that are seen include the Inoffensive White-tipped Reef Sharks, Golden Cow nose Ray, Stingray, Spotted Eagle Ray and sea lions, whales and dolphins and frankly what not. You’d be really amazed once you dive deep into the blue.
What‘s more to see? – Landscapes
As rich and prolific its wildlife is, the topography of the Galapagos is even more colossal and dramatic. You’ll find typically grand and fascinating lava and rock formation with substantial amount of wildlife and rich vegetation. There are a huge number of extensive islands settled in the Galapagos islands. Some of them include Bartholomew Island, Espanola Island, Fernandina Island, Floreana Island, Genovesa Island, Isabela Island and Santiago Island.
Some other highlights from these islands that you must check out include Suarez Point, Garder Bay, Chico Volcano, Concha de Perla, and the Albemarle Point.
Suarez point is one of the most memorable and captivating walks in the Galapagos where you can spot the rarest and gorgeous endemic species, the Waved Albatross.
Fast Fact: The movie Captain and Commander was filmed on the islands of Bartholomew and Santiago.
What to carry to the Galapagos?
Preparing your backpack is pivotal while travelling to the Galapagos. You need to make sure that all the essentials are packed before going to this audacious expedition. Prefer to go out in the sun in relatively short and comfortable attire.
To avoid the warmth of the sun, always cushion your eyes with shades and your skin with some sunscreen. You can also pack a formal dress or two for the cruise nights. Avail yourself with sandals and easy footwear to relish both the shores and the shallow water. As for the volcanic terrains, you can wear sneakers or trainers, that will restrict you from the hot landscapes.
Accessories such as cameras, binoculars, batteries, books or music players can also get a corner in your backpack. Carry your swimsuit or snorkelling kit. You can even rent one from Quito if you don’t own one. Also, keep few US dollars handy while travelling on board. The Galapagos boats provide you with med kits but they may be not adequate. Therefore, we would suggest you to carry your prescribed medicines.
Activities- Things to do in Galapagos
Guided tours are the key to your Galapagos Excursion. These guides know the islands in totality and they will assist you with everything during the course.
Snorkelling into the Galapagos is a must while in Galapagos islands. All you need is snorkel, fins, and a mask and you’d be ready to see the aquatic lifestyle in person. Swim with sea lions and penguins and get this once in a lifetime chance to witness the marine wild up close.
Considered as the world’s best site by Rodale’s Scuba Diving, diving into the Galapagos is something only a few could wish for and a dream come true for many. Galapagos have the ‘Healthiest Marine Environment’ and provide some of the best diving guides in the world that determines the best safety standards.
So, you can leave your fears and anxieties far back home and focus on only two things- full throttle fun! The best time to dive in here is June. You can spot the big whales, hammerheads, rays and other big fishes during this season.
We all dream of an expedition that brings out the wild and free in us. This once in a lifetime experience will definitely prove to be an evocative episode of your entire lifetime. Everything out here is massive and outrageously gorgeous, with its volcanic terrains being one of a kind.
Unsullied by humanity, the Galapagos islands’ exquisite landscapes embrace some of the world’s rarest flora and fauna and exhibits a refreshing experience like no other place on earth. So don’t miss out on life and swoop away your remaining doubts and plan your trip here right away!