5 Experiences not to miss while in Galapagos
There are so many reasons why you should visit the Enchanted Islands off the shore of Ecuador…
- A fabulous nature unspoiled by man
- Endemic species seen nowhere else in the world
- Pristine beaches that you can share with playful sea lions
- Moonlike volcanic landscapes
I would like to share with you some of the 5 best experiences I lived in my very first trip to the Galapagos!
#1) Have a close encounter with Giant Tortoises
The giant Galapagos tortoises are among the most famous of the unique fauna of the Islands. 11 different species can be observed, weighing up to 400 kilos and living up to 150 years in captivity. Hanging out with these centennial creatures, I could almost feel their wisdom rubbing on me. They made me think of dinosaurs and their deep breathing reminded me of Darth Vader’s .
#2) Play hide and seek with sea lions
San Cristobal is the island with the largest population of sea lions coexisting with the community. You can see them sleeping on park benches, refreshing themselves in decorative water fountains and drying in the sun on the empty boats docked by the pier. Seeing them live in harmony with humans is sure to leave a strong impression on you! On the beach, it is best to keep your distance from the males who won’t hesitate to run after you if they feel intimidated or believe their babies are in danger. But, no matter how territorial they can look on land, they turn into playful and curious friends when in the water! I was a little scared at first when they started biting on my fins but as soon as you realize this is just a game for them, the fun begins!
#3) Observe the only marine iguanas known on earth
The skin of those iguanas is black, which allow them to absorb quickly the sun’s heat when getting out of the water. Watch them sneeze sea salt and amaze yourself at the beautiful reddish hues the males display during mating season. They usually dive about 5 meters deep and can stay underwater for long periods of time!
#4) Dive with hammerhead sharks
Are you a certified diver? If the answer is yes, you cannot leave the Galapagos without exploring the wonders that hide underwater! Manta rays, leopard rays, green turtles, the Galapagos shark and whalesharks are only a few of the species you could spot during your dive. I had never seen hammerhead sharks during a dive before and told my dive master before jumping in the water that it was my dream to see them (well that and diving with whales, but that one is still pending!). He did his best to follow the right currents and guess what? Next thing I know he was pointing at a hammerhead shark passing by, followed by 3 others! Another incredible experience was to have a large school of Salema fish surround us like a moving and shape-shifting vortex of life! The moment we swam through them, we were left in darkness (the school of fish were blocking the sunlight from us). All of a sudden, a breach of light in the form of a tunnel “breaks through” the dense mass of fishes and reveals a diving sea lion looking for a snack.
#5) Walk through lava tunnels
I had a great time exploring the moon-like landscapes of Galapagos while hiking the second widest active crater in the world, the Sierra Negra. On Santa Cruz Island, we had the opportunity to walk through fascinating tunnels made by nature. These tunnels are often more than 1 kilometer long and were formed by lava running down the volcano, its exterior layer solidifying while liquid lava kept flowing inside. Quite an experience!
Those are only a few of the countless experiences and sights you can explore in the Galapagos islands.
Whether you wish to go island hopping or on a cruise, do a 5 or an 8 day itinerary, send me a message and I will help you plan the trip of a lifetime!
For more information:
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