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The Galapagos Islands – Heart Warming and Adventurous

Giant Galapagos tortoises roaming freely in the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

The Galapagos Islands are a group of isolated volcanic islands and tiny islets sprinkled in the Pacific Ocean. Friendly wildlife along with the scenic beauty of this archipelago is responsible for its top position in most bucket lists.

Galapagos Islands Animals – your pals during your Galapagos Holidays

Thanks to its remote location and equatorial position in the Pacific, the Galapagos Islands harbors magnificent flora and unique wildlife. The vivid ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands had inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of Evolution.

A mother seal and her pup resting on the rocky shores of the Galapagos, a tender natural moment.
Witness the tender moment between a mother seal and her pup on the rocky shores of the Galapagos Islands.

Not to forget, the beloved, adorable, and incredibly friendly Galapagos Sea lions are another major attraction along with the quiet and peaceful Galapagos fur seals. The only category of penguins to live in the north of the equator, the Galapagos penguins are a very rare sight to see – consider yourself fortunate if you do.

It is impossible to mention all these lovelies in one go, from bottlenose dolphins to golden stingrays, blue-footed boobies and albatross; oh my!

How many Galapagos Islands are there?

There are about 130 islands, of which 13 are larger and four are smaller islands above Galapagos hotspot.

The first islands formed here at least 8 million years ago, but possibly much earlier. While the older islands have eroded over time and disappeared back into the sea.

A Galapagos penguin swimming gracefully near Isabela Island, a rare sight in the tropical region.
Spot the rare Galapagos penguin swimming near Isabela Island, a unique encounter in this tropical paradise.

However, the approximately 25,000 inhabitants are only found on the five inhabited Galapagos Islands:

San Cristobal with the port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno which is also the provincial capital with 8.000 inhabitants;

Santa Cruz with the largest city of the archipelago, Puerto Ayora and 15.000 inhabitants;

Isabela with the port Puerto Villamil and 2.000 inhabitants;

Floreana with the port Puerto Velasco Ibarra and 120 inhabitants;

Baltra Island, where there is an airport and a small naval station.

Another 17 islands of the archipelago can be visited extensively during a Galapagos trip or cruise.

How to get to the Galapagos Islands?

First of all, you need to arrive at the mainland of Ecuador by landing either at Guayaquil or the capital city of Quito – Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport or Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Guayaquil seems to be more convenient for most travelers.

Most tours and cruises start from Santa Cruz Island. So you got to fly to Baltra Island first, from Quito or Guayaquil and then take a scenic ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island. It’s now time to head on to your tour.

Marine iguanas basking on the sun-drenched rocks of the Galapagos shoreline.
Marvel at the unique sight of marine iguanas sunbathing on the rocky shores of the Galapagos, a distinctive feature of the islands.

What to do at the Galapagos Islands?

You have to get your hands on Galapagos Island tours, months before your journey. They are high on demand and sell off really fast. They must include the following:

  • Snorkeling and diving.
  • Wildlife watching
  • Hiking – who wouldn’t want to trek over dried lava beds!
  • Kayaking – rent out a kayak at Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, you don’t even need a guide for this
  • Volunteer for some eco-friendly activities like farming and habitat restoration campaigns

The Galapagos holidays are a dream adventure for many travelers out there. Take a few days off and spend some wonderful time with friends or family, exploring the diversity of the group of islands.

Giant Galapagos tortoises roaming freely in the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island.
Encounter the iconic giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat on Santa Cruz Island, a highlight of Galapagos wildlife.

Where to stay when visiting the Galapagos Islands?

You might have to spend quite a few days here since there is so much to explore and enjoy. Below are our top recommendations for a comfortable stay at the Galapagos Islands.

Albemarle – Simple beachfront lodging, with antique wooden ceilings and a swimming pool area.

Royal Palm Galapagos – Perfect for a relaxing and exotic night stay.

Galapagos Morning Glory – Apart from the beachfront view, it gives access to a commercial area featuring stalls and banks.

Angermeyer Waterfront Inn – Minutes of walking away from the shore, and has an elegant design.

Villa Escalesia – Stunning villa with your very own private outdoor pool. Situated directly at the beach, providing a landscape view of a vast stretch of the Pacific.

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