For wildlife enthusiast looking for the next great adventure, the Galápagos Islands should be on the top of your bucket list. This archipelago, located 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador, is home to some of the most unique and fascinating wildlife species in the world. And, you don’t need to embark on a crowded cruise ship to experience the islands.
Here’s everything you need to know about your next wildlife adventure in the Galápagos Islands.
Trekking through the Galápagos Islands is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the islands while spotting some of the most endemic species. You will have the chance to witness giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and even finches, which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. The Sierra Negra Volcano in Isabela Island is considered one of the oldest volcanoes in the Galápagos Islands. A hike through this site allows you to enjoy the geological wonders of the various kinds of volcanic formations.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
If you are brave enough to swim with the sharks, the Galápagos Islands are known for their crystal-clear waters, where you can float alongside sea turtles, sea lions and multiple species of sharks. Snorkeling is a must activity if you want to observe the marine life of the islands. The best surface dives can be made in San Cristóbal Island, in locations like Cerro Tijeretas, León Dormido, Lobería, Isla Lobos, Bahía Rosa Blanca, among others. If snorkeling is not enough, then scuba diving will take your Galápagos Islands adventure to the next level. The islands offer some of the best dive sites in the world, and you will be able to witness hammerhead sharks, manta rays and even whales.
With seven major islands and 14 minor ones, island hopping is a great way to visit the various Enchanted Islands, as they are also known. Each island offers unique landscapes and ecosystems, such as white sand beaches and cactus forests, allowing you to encounter different species of animals, like giant tortoises and many endemic bird species to the islands.
The Galápagos Islands are a protected area, and several conservation projects aim to maintain the biodiversity of the region. Visiting these projects allows you to learn more about the efforts taken to conserve these islands’ unique species, like the giant Galápagos tortoises that are believed to have inhabited the islands for approximately 4 million years and considered the longest-lived in the world. There’s no doubt that the Galápagos Islands offer some of the best wildlife experiences in the world. From hiking to scuba diving, there’s something for everyone on the islands.
A Gastronomy Unique to the Islands
The gastronomy of the Galapagos Islands fuses the flavors of the sea and the land. Guests can dine on lobster, that is sustainably fished incomparable quality and flavor fresh from the ocean. For the coffee lovers, the unique quality of Galápagos coffee derives from flavors and aromas grown in harmony with nature in a volcanic soil. For the seafood lovers, experience a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic experience when you try canchalagua – a star dish of the islands that is mixed with ceviche and garlic offering the exquisite flavors of Ecuadorian cuisine. And for beer lovers, visitors should indulge in craft beers that are sustainable and originally made on the islands. Finally, guests should tour the cheese factory, Queso Chueco, and discover the unique flavors of Galapagos cheese.