With eight days on the extraordinary Galapagos Islands and more than 700 photos, the only way to even begin to explain about this truly unique paradise is through pictures. Made famous by a visit from Charles Darwin back in 1535, the islands were officially opened to tourists in 1960’s and have been inspiring travellers ever since. Click for tips on how to book a Galapagos tour on a budget and what to expect on your cruise.
Here’s my Top 10 favourite photos from eight incredible days:
10: Sunset – Endless ocean vistas and jagged volcanic island formations make sunsets in Galapagos priceless
9: Colourful Crabs – Since most of the islands are made up of black volcanic rock, these bright red and yellow crabs that dot the coastlines provide a pop of colour against a stark background.
8: Boobies – the blue footed birds of course! A bird species found only in Galapagos with blue coloured feet is one of the many bird watching highlights you can expect here.
7: Lost Penguins – somewhere along the commute from the South Pole, these penguins lost their way and decided to make their home on the islands. With the coldest equatorial waters in the world the temperatures are just cool enough to keep these penguins happy in their new tropical home.
6: Spitting Iguana – don’t get too close or you’ll find yourself covered in a salty brine that these endemic iguanas expel through there nostrils. With hours spent fishing in the ocean, these odd looking marine creatures spend the rest of their day expelling the extra salt they take in to moderate their electrolyte balance.
5: Giant Tortoises – aka Galapagos in Spanish, these creatures once roamed the islands by the thousands. Due to over hunting for their meat when the islands were first discovered, the great creatures are now boarding on extinction with some species wiped out completely. Breeding centers have stepped in to help bring the population numbers back up to a sustainable level.
4: Sea lions on land – it seems these magical creatures are just about everywhere you look on the islands. From beaches to park benches they are truly the rulers of this national park. You simply have to sit back and enjoy the view as the sea lions go about their daily business of tending to and raising their young.
3: Sharks – while often feared as one of the world’s top predators the hammerhead and white tip reef sharks that swim through the waters here are mostly harmless. Just don’t panic when you see them in groups of up to 20 or 30 at a time.
2: Marble Rays – Not one but a school of 12 swam by us as we snorkeled just off the shore. These majestic creatures let us follow them around as they glided gracefully through the waters.
1: Sea lions under water – what they lack in agility on land they more these playful creatures more than make up for underwater. Snorkeling next to a mom and pup as they frolicked together in the ocean water with the occasional up close and personal look at our camera devices was priceless.