The Galapagos Islands, a remote archipelago of 53 islands – 13 large volcanic islands and 40 smaller islands – lie either side of the equator almost 600 miles west of South America in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands were made famous by Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution, largely based on his time spent in the Galapagos. There’s so many things to do in Galapagos Islands and below we have some of the islands that you must visit.
You will find nature in all its stunning and dramatic beauty here, from the rocky lava formations to luxuriously green hills, pristine white beaches to crystal clear bays. All sorts of wildlife are to be found here including Galapagos penguins, sea lions, giant tortoises and iguanas. Here are the top ten things to do in the Galapagos Islands.
Best Things To Do In Galapagos Islands
Home to some of the some of the largest sea bird breeding colonies in the Galapagos, Seymour Island is a bird enthusiast’s paradise. Bird’s breed here at all times of the year. Many come to this island to spot the blud-footed boobies and frigate birds. A lot of Galapagos’ wild residents are fearless so travelers here can get up and close with many of the birds here such as the swallow tailed gulls and the yellow warblers. Also living on or in the waters around Seymour Island are lava lizards, sea lions, Galapagos snake, land iguanas and marine iguanas. There is a great diving spot south of the island and a must visit island in the Galapagos Islands.
Twenty four different species of whale have been identified in the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The best time to come whale watching are from July to September when the whales come to the surface of seas to avail of the up swelling of nutrients at this time of the year. This is a great thing to see in Galapagos Islands.
Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
The Galapagos Islands and Charles Darwin are inextricably linked. Discover Galapagos history and learn about the natural habitat and wildlife of the islands. This is a must do thing in the Galapagos Islands. The Charles Darwin Research Station is a center for conservation research and the place to visit to learn all about the unique ecosystems in this archipelago. While you’re on Santa Cruz Island pay a visit to Lava Rock Beach and enjoy the view of Santa Fe Island and Academy Bay.
Galapagos Beach At Tortuga Bay
One of the most beautiful beaches in Galapagos – Galapagos Beach – is located at Tortuga Bay. Pristine white sand and plenty of trees for shade, this beach is the ideal spot for leisurely snorkeling and for spotting green turtles, marine iguanas, native birds and pelicans.
The shorelines of the Galapagos Islands are home to an abundance of all sorts of wonderful sea creatures. Snorkeling off the coasts of the islands is an absolute must! You’ll witness the mysterious underwater worlds and its inhabitants including angelfish, manta rays, white-tipped reef sharks, marine iguanas, magenta octopus, cuttlefish, oysters, squids and sea turtles. This is a fun thing to do in the Galapagos Islands. You don’t even have to go far out to sea, a lot of the sea life is swimming and living close to the shore.
This small island is the perfect place for those seeking adventure. From the peak of Bartolomé you can enjoy the most magnificent views over the islands. Pinnacle Rock is a great site to go snorkeling; come face to face with Galapagos’ sea life here such as reef sharks, tropical fish and rays. This is a great thing to see in the Galapagos Islands. At the foot of Pinnacle Rock you can visit the settlement of Galapagos penguins. The shore around Bartolomé Island is also home marine iguanas, lava herons, sea lions and Sally Light-foot Crabs.
Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island)
Puerto Ayora is the Galapagos’ most populated town and is the place to come for eating out, hotels, bars, SCUBA diving schools and shopping. It’s also where the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station are based. You can come here to enjoy several adventure activities like kayaking, horse riding, mountain biking and snorkeling.
El Chato Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
The giant tortoises are one of the biggest attractions to the Galapagos Islands and El Chato Tortoise Reserve is the place to go to see these beautiful creatures. There are two parts to the reserve, Caseta and Chato, two trails of varying difficulty. You can also keep an eye out for land birds here and the many varieties of trees and plants.
Sierra Negra Volcano (Isabela Island)
One of five volcanoes on Isabela Island, Sierra Negra Volcano has the world’s second biggest volcanic caldera at 4.3 by 6.2 miles wide. Sierra Negra’s wide caldera is oval-shaped, while the calderas on the other Galapagos volcanoes are more circular in shape. This volcano displays many features such as cinder, spatter and tuff cones. A 1979 eruption omitted an ash cloud the reached 8.7 miles high and a lava flow that reached the sea. This is a great thing to see in the Galapagos Islands.
La Loberia (San Cristóbal Island)
For an unrivalled sea lion watching location, visit the sea lion colony at La Loberia. You can watch the pups learning to swim and even join them in the water! You can also come here for the bird life and marine iguanas.