Have you ever heard of Las Encantadas, commonly known as The Enchanted Archipelago in Ecuador? About 600 miles from Ecuadorian shores, multiple coasts with an exceptional archipelago have amazed visitors with their great wildlife spectacles and breathtaking shallows. This group of 19 islands is today known as the Galapagos Islands.
Visitors to these islands have considered it a well-loved tourist destination for all the right reasons. This archipelago consists of 19 islands and a dozen rocks and islets. There are plenty of exciting activities in Galapagos Islands for all age groups, ranging from contemplative to daring.
Besides that, you’ll see the best of animals and nature itself.
So, what are the places to see, animals to meet, and adventures to experience in Galapagos Islands? Why should you travel to this isolated part of the globe? Why should you put the Galapagos Islands on your list of places to visit? Read on and find out.
1. Diverse Array Of Flora and Fauna
The Galapagos Islands are a naturalist’s paradise, with a rich array of flora and fauna. This includes unusual plants and animals such as gigantic cactus, passerine birds, flightless seabirds, and the famous giant tortoise, which lives for a hundred years and is the world’s oldest surviving vertebrate. There might even be a ‘great-grandpa’ turtle hatched during Charles Darwin’s exploration of the islands.
2. Awe-Inspiring Geology
The Galapagos Islands are a natural wonder. In a broader sense, these islands are comparably new. Rumor is that Isabela and Fernandina, the biggest islands, are less than one million years old. They were formed on the seabed when three tectonic plates collided, resulting in volcanic activities happening to this day.
3. Breathtaking Underwater World
There are over 2,900 kinds of marine creatures on the Galapagos Islands, with 25% of them endemic or existing nowhere else on the planet. The most prominent ones are the Galapagos penguins (which are species endemic to the Northern Hemisphere), saltwater iguanas, whales, Galapagos sea lions, whale sharks, and hammerhead sharks.
4. Interesting History
If you’re curious about who first arrived on the islands, if it was the hummingbirds, fugitives, pirates, or sailors, the islands’ human history could interest you.
Charles Darwin, a young geologist and enthusiastic naturalist, was the first to arrive on the Galapagos Islands. Darwin was in charge of studying rock formations and volcanoes, but he also discovered that many of the mockingbirds, passerine birds, and iguanas differ from island to island. As a result, he became one of the first to explore the islands because of his interest in the archipelago’s natural features.
5. Exciting Adventures And Activities
The Galapagos Islands offer a wide range of activities for people of all ages, inclinations, and fitness levels. This includes the following.
Trekking is perhaps the most common activity in the archipelago. It provides an opportunity to capture stunning pictures of the species and landscapes. Trekking around the islands will lead you through paths teeming with amazing wildlife and breathtaking scenery.
Snorkeling is included in most travelers’ to-do list because it’s the simplest and most economical way to view the fascinating underwater world of the Galapagos. You may see excited sea lions and penguins observing you from a boat as you approach. Dare to get into the water, and you’ll be amazed by the profusion of marine life that surrounds you.
Kayaking along the island’s beach allows you to see many birds hatching in the nearby trees, schools of young stingrays and sharks, and other aquatic life enjoying the calm blue seas of Galapagos. Enjoy a leisurely kayak trip through mangrove-lined lagoons and discover their hidden beauty.
- Scuba Diving
There are many aquatic species to view in the Galapagos, and scuba diving is undoubtedly the coolest and most gratifying underwater experience possible. Imagine swimming alongside schools of stingrays, appreciating their elegant motions and formations up close, and marine mammals eager to play with the gentle turtles crawling along the rocks.
6. Fun Inland Hikes
There are several marked trails on the islands of the Galapagos. Each route will take you through a terrain, allowing you to understand the islands’ evolution and how it happened. These treks will also show you the majority of the fauna and flora that coexist in this incredible symbiosis.
The majority of the walks are short, but tourists can’t stroll on the islands on their own, so you may need to hire a qualified tour guide to take you around. Moreover, travelers are advised to wear sturdy shoes for their hikes as most of the archipelago islands are volcanic.
7. Inspiring Views And Landscape
Every landscape and view in the Galapagos Islands will most likely surprise you throughout your stay.
The vista from Bartolome Island is among the most famous and must-see sights in the Galapagos Islands. This volcanic islet provides a worthwhile view of black lava covered in flora that gently slopes into the lake, with the Pinnacle Rock in the backdrop. Aside from Bartolome Island, there are still more islets that will surely impress you with their views.
8. One-Time Life Experience
Regardless of how dramatic it may seem, visiting the Galapagos Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Some privileged tourists may visit it more often, but this is far from the norm.
Many people are eager to visit this location because of the nature, wildlife, trails, scenic views, and everything else. Despite the travel costs to get to the Galapagos Islands, many still want to visit the place for the adventures they’d like to experience.
9. Opportunities To Travel Sustainably And In A Responsible Way
You’ve heard the terrible news about tourist destinations, particularly in Southeast Asia, that had to be closed to the public because of irresponsible tourism.
The Galapagos Islands National Park administration recognizes the fragility of the islands’ ecology and exerts every effort to preserve and restore it. If you want to see a place where sustainability and responsible tourism are more than just buzzwords, come to the Galapagos Islands.
Furthermore, it’s best to choose an agency with an environmental stance. Thus, if you’re concerned about sustainable travel and the decrease in plastic consumption, ensure you find a trustworthy travel agency to fulfill your goals.
Every island has a plethora of activities and sights for its visitors. The Galapagos is no different as it offers a world in itself because of its diverse animals and unusual scenery. This archipelago offers you a chance to see Galapagos seabirds, blue-footed booby birds, flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, giant iguanas, frigate birds, and many more.