The Galapagos Islands are famous as a truly unique place, untamed and overflowing with exotic wildlife. Located off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos are actually an archipelago of islands comprised of volcanic rock. Visitors can enjoy up close and personal experience with some of the islands one-of-a-kind wildlife, while taking in the beauty of the volcanoes themselves. If you’re considering a trip to this truly unique vacation spot, here are a few more things you should know.
When you go to the Galapagos Islands, you first have to decide where exactly you are going! The Galapagos Islands are actually made up of 18 main islands – 15 larger and 3 smaller. And that’s not counting the more than 100 tiny islands and rocky areas dotting that part of the ocean! Since only about five of these islands are inhabited, your choice of hotel will be limited. Fortunately, you can travel extensively from your “home base” at a hotel for whichever type of adventure suits you best. One of the most popular Galapagos Islands to stay on is Santa Cruz. It is also possible to stay in a hotel on San Cristobal, where the Charles Darwin Research Center is also located.
So, what activities are available to visitors on the Galapagos Islands? A little something spectacular for everyone. One of the creatures the islands are best known for are the Galapagos giant turtles, with an approximate lifespan of 150 years. These magnificent animals can be seen on Santa Cruz island. The Galapagos Islands are also recognized as one of the top seven locations in the world for scuba diving, making them a haven for divers from across the globe. Scuba divers in the waters of the Galapagos may come face to face with whales, hammerhead sharks, giant rays, swordfish and many more marine species. Snorkeling, surfing and kayaking are also popular activities on the Galapagos Islands.
Of course, anyone interested in viewing the area’s wildlife will want to take advantage of another popular activity: hiking! Hiking is by far the best way to get up close and personal with some of the area’s wildlife without frightening them off. The Waved Albatross, Cormorant, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas are among the animals that can be seen. The best way to see the sights is with a hiking tour, led by a guide who knows exactly when – and where – the area wildlife are most likely to be around.
There is no other place on earth quite like the Galapagos Islands, which have drawn researchers and enchanted visitors for decades. With the breathtaking beauty of the area, the countless activities available and the sheer variety of wildlife present, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is sure to be one you and your loved ones will remember always.
Information obtained on February 28, 2011 via: