top of page

Unveiling the Galapagos: A Nature Lover's Paradise

Updated: Jun 18

Galapagos Islands : giant tortoise

Hello, fellow adventurers! Today, we're embarking on an extraordinary journey to the enchanting Galápagos Islands. Nestled in the Pacific Ocean, these islands are a testament to evolution that will leave you in awe. A true paradise for nature lovers!

Giant tortoise Galapagos - Lonesome George
Lonesome George

No wonder Charles Darwin was enchanted by volcanic islands lost in the middle of the Pacific.

Cut off from the mainland for millions of years, the Galapagos became a haven for unique creatures you won't find anywhere else. Get ready to explore this incredible destination where evolution comes to life!

Unveiling the Galapagos: An Introduction

Map of Galapagos Island - Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands aren't any tropical paradise. They're located 900 kilometers west of mainland Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean.

These islands were literally born from fire! Millions of years ago, volcanic activity created these unique land masses.

The archipelago comprises 13 main islands and 6 smaller ones. The isolation and sea currents have created a rich and unique fauna. The species of plants and animals are found nowhere else in the world.

The Wildlife of Galapagos

Galapagos penguin

What an incredible feeling to walk in the natural habitat of 13 species of giant tortoises! They can weigh up to 500 kilograms. It's an experience like no other!

But the wildlife spectacle doesn't stop there. Sea lions, iguanas, pelicans, boobies, dolphins, and whales also call these islands home. 

Galapagos land Iguana

  • Witness marine iguanas sunbathing on black lava rocks.

  • Watch the blue-footed boobies perform their mating ritual, displaying their vibrant blue feet to attract a mate.

  • You can find at least 32 species of sharks in Galapagos waters. While snorkeling, you might swim with the small whitetip reef and blacktip reef sharks. But shark attacks in the Galapagos are rare. Stay informed about safety regulations and designated swimming areas.

  • Galapagos Penguins are one of the smallest in the world and are endemic to the islands. Their average size is 49 centimeters, and they can reach a speed of 35 km/h. You can mainly find them on Isabela and Fernandina islands

  • The Giant tortoises are the most famous inhabitants of Galapagos. You can find them at Santa Cruz Highlands and Alcedo Volcano in Isabela. In the picture above, meet Lonesome George, who died in 2012. Since then, only 12 species of tortoise remain in Galapagos. 

  • Find Iguanas at Fernandina, Isabela, Santa Cruz, South Plaza, Baltra, Santiago, and North Seymour islands. They are primarily herbivores, feeding on prickly pear leaves and fruit. The population of land iguanas has significantly decreased in the last 150 years.

All those species are endangered due to environmental challenges and human activities, requiring urgent efforts to restore ecosystems.

The Adventure Awaits

Galapagos is not just about observing wildlife but also an invitation to adventure. 

Explore volcanic craters that tell the story of the island's fiery past. Hike across lava fields, smooth or rugged, a reminder of the islands' powerful origins.

Board a boat and visit the islands of Isabela, Plazas, Seymour, Bartolomé, Floreana, and San Cristóbal. Frigates and brown pelicans will escort you all the way.

Go diving, snorkeling, or stroll along the trails. And as the day ends, what a delight to watch the sunset, drink in hand, and birds for company!

The island is the best representative of Ecuador's natural beauty!

Which Islands to visit:

The Galapagos archipelago boasts over 120 islands and islets, each with unique charm. Here are a few popular ones:

  • Santa Cruz Island: Home to the famous Charles Darwin Research Station. There, learn about conservation efforts and see giant tortoises up close.

  • Isabela Island: The largest one, known for its volcanic landscapes. Check out Sierra Negra, one of the world's largest active volcanoes.

  • San Cristobal Island: Offers pristine beaches and excellent snorkeling opportunities! If you are lucky enough, you can see blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas.

Responsible Tourism in the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are a fragile ecosystem. Here's how you can be a responsible tourist:

  • Respect the wildlife: These creatures are wild, not pets. Keep your distance, avoid touching them, and never feed them.

  • Pack reusable water bottles and bags, and dispose of any trash properly. Remember, what you bring in, you must take out.

  • Stay on designated trails! This helps protect the vegetation and ensures minimal disturbance to the wildlife's habitat.

Ensure the Galapagos Islands remain paradise by following these practices. Responsible tourism allows us to enjoy while preserving the island for future explorers.

By land or sea?

Land Tours:


  • Flexibility: Pick your own itinerary and stay put for deeper exploration.

  • Usually cheaper than cruises.

  • Easy access to island interiors and hiking trails.


  • Land tours usually cover fewer islands due to daily travel needs.

  • Fewer wildlife encounters: Cruises often reach remote islands with unique wildlife.



  • Cruises cover more islands, including remote ones.

  • Meals, accommodation, activities, and guided tours are usually included.

  • Cruises often spend more time near wildlife hotspots.


  • Cruises are generally more expensive than land tours.

  • You follow a set itinerary with limited time on each island.

  • Activities are water-based or near coastlines.

To experience the full range of South America's natural wonders, complement your Galapagos adventure with a visit to the Atacama Desert's unique ecosystem.

Need-to-Know Info: Your Galapagos Getaway (FAQ)

Getting There:

To reach the Galapagos Islands, take a flight from mainland Ecuador. Flights leave from Quito or Guayaquil and take 2-3 hours.

Visas and Permits:

Most nationalities need a visa to enter Ecuador. There is a mandatory National Park entrance fee upon arrival in the Galapagos.

When to Visit:

The Galapagos is a year-round destination! The best time depends on your interests:

  • Wildlife spotting (January-April): warm and dry season. Ideal for observing wildlife as they're more active. Expect higher tourist numbers and pricier travel options.

  • Pleasant weather and fewer crowds (May-December): A cooler and foggier season. Escape the peak crowds and lower travel costs. Wildlife might be less visible due to cooler temperatures.

Remember, these are general guidelines. Research specific to your travel dates to get a clearer picture of what to expect.

What to pack

  • Pack light and breathable clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits for the warm coastal areas.

  • Bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings and higher elevations

  • Pack neutral-colored clothing as it blends better with the natural environment. Sturdy hiking shoes with good ankle support are essential for traversing the uneven terrain. Water shoes for wading in the water and protecting your feet from sharp rocks. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the strong equatorial sun. A daypack for carrying your essentials during excursions

  • Insect repellent to ward off mosquitos and other insects.

  • Seasickness medication if you're prone to nausea on boats.

  • A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.

  • Your personal mini-pharmacy. Read here

Where to Stay

Santa Cruz is an excellent option for those who want a good hotel structure, international and national cuisine restaurants. Perfect for first-time visitors, wildlife enthusiasts, with convenient access to other islands through day trips.

If you want remote experience try Isabela Island. Offers opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and diving. Is home to diverse volcanic landscapes.

For a Budget-conscious traveler the perfect spot is San Cristobal Island. Try snorkeling, diving, and visiting historical sites.

Book the perfect room: is one of the most comprehensive websites to finding hotels, apartments or hostels. Start searching now:



The Galapagos Islands are a unique and fascinating destination! A testament to Ecuador natural beauty. The archipelago is a true paradise for wildlife lovers and a place to visit at least once. 

So why wait? Embark with our travel blog on a journey to discover the Galapagos Islands and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page