No where else on earth comes close to the intense wildlife experience the Galapagos Islands offer.
For naturalists, this is the ultimate wildlife experience and the place where Darwin first conceived of speciation. This remote archipelago, lying 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, is home to countless species who have evolved without fear of mankind.
Made famous by Darwin on his 5 year voyage on HMS Beagle in 1831 and subsequent theory of natural selection, these 13 volcanic ‘proper' islands and countless small islets still feel like the land of the dawn of time, unchanged from when he set foot here.
Metallic coloured iguanas, boobies with turquoise feet, frigate birds with impossibly enormous red balloon chests, sea lions that behave like a pet labrador, rays, sharks, flamingoes and of course the finches distinct to each island – nothing shows a fear of mankind.
The vast turtles were taken in huge numbers by visiting mariners but now wildlife tourism is more tightly controlled than anywhere else in the world and visitors are only allowed to visit tiny pockets of the national park. Large ships which disgorge tens of visitors on to islands feel very at odds with the fragility of the ecology. Small boat cruises mean remote anchorages and islands which the large boats are unable to access.
The scenery of the Galapagos is raw and sometimes harsh, ancient and recent lava formations, lush green highlands, red sand and golden sand lapped by turquoise waters make this an extraordinary place to cruise even if there was not a living species to be seen.
Wildlife activities vary greatly and each month has it’s own highlights; green turtles begin laying their eggs in January, penguins interact with swimmers from May until September, Albatros arrive in April and Humpback whales in June.
July to the end of September is a spectacular time for seabird activity and sea lion pups are born around August. There are seasonal differences but the islands are a year round destination, being situated slap bang on the Equator. Snorkelling, island walking, swimming with sea lions and visting the lava tunnels of the central highlands are some of the activities undertaken.
The Galapagos Islands Experiences:
A charming and comfortable small-boat charter
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