Looking to explore truly enchanting places on your customized South America tours? An archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean and west of continental Ecuador, we provide our top 10 reasons to visit the Galapagos Islands.
While several travel destinations declare to be ‘uniquely different’, the Galapagos Islands are precisely that! It was the American writer Kurt Vonnegut who once wrote, “So, the Galapagos Islands could be hell in one moment and heaven in the next….”
Where else in the world can you have an eye-to-eye staring contest with wild animals and lose?
Your next adventure destination is right here! With a dizzying array of reasons to visit, the Galapagos inspires a whole new perspective of the world and travel – definitely worth exploring adding to the itinerary for your customized South America tours.
Fantasize sailing amid undisturbed natural volcanic islands housing some of the most mysterious creatures on earth. Imagine venturing among curiously inquisitive ‘Blue-footed Boobies’, timeless giant tortoises, and the peculiarly endemic marine iguana. Visualize beaches of all striking colors and hues.
Travel should always be about what you want to experience, the places you wish to see and the things you want to do. Yet, we definitely can make some solid reasons for visiting the Galapagos Islands.
1. Remoteness – World’s End:
These secluded islands are pristine, picturesque and relatively untouched. Although straddling the Equator, they are devoid of tropical landscape and quite barren, with frigid waters swathed in thick sea fog. These islands were formed from rising hot magma thermal plumes atop the Nazca tectonic plate.
2. Playing Charles Darwin:
In 1835, Charles Darwin sailed to the Galapagos in the HMS Beagle, first glimpsing these islands he called “a little world within itself.” Their unique diversity prompted his publication about his theories on evolution. Galapagos has since become a rare destination and is constantly surprising. Don’t miss the Charles Darwin Research Center!
3. Nature’s Drama:
13 islands were born from fiery volcanoes. Cruise these enchanted islands and observe volcano summits, tortured lava flows, and impossibly blue skies and seas. Panga (dinghy) excursions let you discover remote mangroves, pirate hideouts, coves and caves, and orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, sleeping reef sharks, dozing sea lions and green sea turtles.
See inland lagoons and dramatic rock towers with diving boobies, acrobatic frigates and seabirds.
Be awestruck by the brilliantly striking colors of the beaches, from talc-soft white sand or deep olive to green, black, yellow-orange and red. See Punta Espinoza’s and Fernandina Island’s organic beaches.
5. New Culture:
En route, explore Santiago de Guayaquil – the capital city and port of Ecuador. Visit the picturesque old colonial district ‘Las Peñas’, the only part of the city where wooden houses were not destroyed by fire. See La Merced or San Francisco churches, the beautiful cemetery below Cerro el Carmen, museums, Botanical Gardens and Parque Bolivia in front of the Cathedral – abounding with tame iguanas.
Take yacht or catamaran cruises via rich island shores and reefs, capturing scintillating geography. Paddle sea kayaks past Kicker Rock’s towering pyramid. Camp beside fiddler crabs sweeping the beach! Animal Encounters like nowhere else – without teachers or textbooks…
7. Marine Iguanas:
Get up-close to the world’s only known marine lizard. Darwin described this amphibian as ‘hideous looking’, with smashed-in snouts, razor sharp teeth, heavily lidded beady eyes and a spiny dorsal ridge above fat scaly bellies. Moving effortlessly between land and sea, they are not nearly as fierce as they look!
8. Commune with Giant Tortoises:
9. Marine World:
10. Blue-footed Boobies:
The poster child for the Galapagos, these comical Blue-footed boobies are mesmerizing coastal seabirds, deriving their name from the Spanish ‘bobo’, meaning clown. See them hop from one blue foot to another in an awkward walk, kicking out one foot in a sort of endearing dance, heads bobbing in unison.
The Galapagos inspires, frustrates, thrills and confounds all at once! Enchanting Travels will help you seek out an environment that provides an antidote to frenzied urban living! After all, isn’t travel all about a quest to discover places that don’t look and feel like home?
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