GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: WHAT TO SEE AND WHERE TO SEE IT?
“The Galapagos archipelago as a whole is a surrealistic picture come to life” There is a natural paradise where life is in a pure state. Imagine swimming among sharks, walking alongside giant tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and dazzling you with unique landscapes in the world.
The richness of wildlife in the Enchanted Islands has allowed them to become the perfect destination for animal lovers. And it’s amazing that the animals in Galapagos are very receptive to the presence of visitors: many scientists say that its creatures apparently forgot how to fear, their ancestors leaving the instinct of «fight or flight» behind when they swam, flew or floated here to escape prehistoric predators on the South American mainland.
The Galapagos Islands were never connected to the continent. Therefore, the ancestors of all the species of plants and animals on the islands come from other places
Land birds and California sea lions arrived from North America, pink flamingos and Darwin’s finches from the Caribbean. While the land iguanas, pelicans, cormorants, and pikemen arrived from South America. As a result of the Humboldt Current, sea lions and penguins were also able to reach the Islands.
It is not a surprise that there are many species in the Ecuadorian islands, there are so many that it is impossible to talk about each. However, we want you to know more about some of them and where to find them when you visit Galapagos:
- Galapagos Giant Tortoise: The giant tortoise of the Galapagos is the largest turtle species that exist on Earth. It can reach 300 kg in the wild (more even in captivity) and is believed to live about 100 years. There are at least 10 different species of giant tortoise in Galapagos, which differ in size, the shape of the shell and geographic distribution. During the Galapagos Essentials trip, you can experience the islands from the comfort of a land-based expedition, visiting Santa Cruz Highlands allows you to see these iconic giant tortoises.
- Land Iguanas: In Galapagos live three different species of terrestrial iguana: the conolophus subcristatus can be found in six of the islands, while the conolophus pallidus only in the Santa Fe island and the famous pink iguana, the pink conolophus, in the Wolf volcano of Isabela Island. Watch all the iguana species during the Galapagos Multisport trip.
- Sea Iguanas: This unique animal is the only marine lizard in the world. The marine iguana can dive to depths of 25 meters and remain in the water for well over 10 minutes, after which it returns to land to warm up. You can often see him sunbathing naked lava, reaching a body temperature of about 35.5 ° C. It inhabits the rocky coasts of this Ecuadorian archipelago, although it is possible to see them in mangroves and beaches.
- Galapagos Penguins: The Galapagos penguin, endemic to the archipelago, is the penguin species that lives the most to the north of the world. It is a very rare species with a population of fewer than 2000 specimens. The majority of its population is found on the rocky coast of the islands of Fernandina and Isabela, the westernmost islands of the Galapagos. You can interact with this unique penguin kayaking through the archipelago waters during The Best of Ecuador & Galapagos trip.
- Galapagos Sea Lions: This coastal animal is usually playful and curious, spends most of its time near the coast. It is capable of submerging at depths of 350 meters and can stay underwater for up to ten minutes. The offspring of this species have different barks, in this way the mothers can differentiate their young when they return from hunting food. It is very common to meet these beautiful animals on any road near the coasts of the enchanted islands and to see how they make their lives so close to the human being.
- Blue-footed boobies: The blue-footed booby is a species of unique bird, recognizable mainly by the intense blue color of its webbed feet. They are excellent hunters, they watch their prey while they fly and to capture it, they launch themselves headlong into the ocean from a height of up to 30 meters. Look closely at these spectacular birds and more in Galapagos Bike & SUP trip.
- Hammerhead shark: It is usually seen around the Darwin and Wolf Islands, in the north of the archipelago. Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of the few places in the world where you can still observe hammerhead sharks in the banks of hundreds of specimens. The hammerhead shark is one of the types of sharks that has evolved most in recent times. Probably. his hammer-shaped head evolved for several reasons, including improving vision and providing a greater area of electroreceptors. It is possible to approach to this magical underwater life during Galapagos Diving Exploration.
Tourism is the main market of the islands thanks to its great biodiversity, its culture, and its people, you can live unique experiences in life as you interact with unique species in an almost unreal paradise, far from problems and out of any comfort zone.