Famous for their incredibly fearless and unique wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are some of the most spectacular volcanic islands in the world. Isolated just off the coast of Ecuador, it’s the only place in the world where you can swim with a playful sea lion, plod along with a giant tortoise and ogle at the brightly coloured feet of the blue footed booby. The wildlife is truly phenomenal and the scenery, which is barren and volcanic, is hauntingly beautiful.
Approximately 970km to the west of the Ecuadorian Pacific coastline, the volcanic and isolated Galapagos Islands are home to a plethora of fascinating creatures found nowhere else on earth. From the sun basking marine iguana to the docile giant tortoise, wildlife here is known for being incredibly fearless and tame, where up close encounters are the norm and seeing a huge array of wildlife in their natural habitat is guaranteed.
The islands are mostly of volcanic origin which accounts for the surprising variety of landscape: from barren lunar-like hillsides to lush tropical jungle, damp cloud forest, and spectacular tropical beaches hiking around the islands is the best way to explore its diversity. Each island is home to its own unique set of species and as you explore its rugged terrain, wildlife can be spotted at all angles.
The islands are bathed by the waters of no less than six major ocean currents which attract a vast array of marine life. Snorkelling around the Galapagos is a major highlight of any trip and the dive sites are revered for being some of the best in the world. This underwater world is teeming with life, where sea turtles and penguins glide through the water and curious sea lions swirl around. It is home to an abundance of tropical coloured fish, as well as the odd hammerhead shark and unusual looking sunfish.
Smack bang on the Equator, the temperature remains pretty constant and balmy throughout the year. Sea temperatures can vary but wetsuits are on hand and colder water often means encounters with larger marine animals, making this an ideal year-round destination. From one month to the next, life on the Galapagos is different and each month has a highlight of its own, from the amazing courtship of the waved albatross in April to the pupping of sea lions in August.
This living laboratory of evolution can be experienced in a number of different ways. From embarking on a cruise, to staying in a hotel or getting active and hopping from one island to the next; however you choose to experience the Galapagos, it will open your eyes to a fragile and pristine eco-system where every day is a surprise and the human foot print is kept to a minimum.