Every day in the Galapagos Islands brings new wonders.
When you visit the Galapagos you will feel honored to spend time on these islands that are full of wildlife that has not yet learned to fear humans.
The Galapagos are a volcanic archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 600 miles west of the coast of Ecuador. There are 13 major islands and numerous small islands and islets. Each island is unique and all are spectacular in their own way.
The Islands are protected so you have guides that take you to the different Islands. Most travelers to the Galapagos choose to spend a week on a boat touring the islands. Boats of all sizes and shapes are available. Keep in mind that the water around the Galapagos can be choppy, the larger the boat the less likely that you will feel the motion of the boat.
Every tour and itinerary is approved by the Ecuadorian government as they want to ensure that the Galapagos remain ecologically sound. Although you are free to wander the beaches, all hiking is done on well marked paths and you should not deviate from these paths. Your guides will make sure that you adhere to the rules of the islands.
Google Maps Street View Video Exploring the Galapagos Islands
In partnership with the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, Catlin Seaview Survey and The Charles Darwin Foundation, Google maps shot 360-degree Street View video which gives you a behind the scenes walking tour.
You can click on their “street view” images to get a panorama of what their cameras captured. A favorite from their footage is their underwater view:
One of the great things about the Galapagos Islands is you have to walk.
On your walks around the islands you will see the comical blue footed boobies, dragon-like iguanas and large albatrosses. There are male frigate birds with their bright red chests puffed out.
Hiking through the preserves you will see giant tortoises and birds of all types. When I was there we saw a giant tortoise with a bright red vermillion flycatcher sitting on his shell. The flycatcher shot off the tortoise’s back, snatched a moth, ate it and flew back to the tortoise to wait for the next unsuspecting moth.
Mocking birds will follow you, begging for water (you are not allowed to give them water as you do not want them to become dependent on humans for water). Lava lizards will scramble around your feet while sally crabs dart in and out of tidal pools.
Small local penguins slip into the water and swim away almost faster than the eye can follow. Birds will suddenly drop out of the sky and dive into the water to catch fish and then shoot back up into the sky.
If you are lucky you will look one way and see dolphins, whales and rays, look the other and see birds nesting in the cliffs.
And sea lions!! Sea lions are everywhere; they are sunning themselves on the beach and swimming in the water. You will even find some that are as interested in you as you are in them. The large male bulls will let you know if you have overstayed your welcome by bellowing, a noise you would be wise to listen to.
Sea lions are the Golden Retrievers of the sea mammal world.
If you throw a stick in the water and they are nearby they will toss it in the air and catch it. Or they toss the stick and let it land, then sneak up on it and attack.
As graceful as sea lions are in the water they are almost comical in their waddling on land. They will swim and glide through the water then waddle out of the water collapse on the sand and fall asleep where they lay sometimes on their back with flippers in the air.
Take plenty of pictures in the Galapagos Islands because no one will believe you when you tell them about your trip. In fact you will find yourself looking at your pictures to remind yourself that it was not all a dream.
National Geographic did a wonderful video on the Galapagos Islands which you may enjoy