Galapagos Islands – where dreams come true
If you want to know what paradise feels like, you should not hesitate and visit the incredible Galapagos Islands. It is a place full of joy, harmony and peace. A place, where you see human and animal living hand in hand, side by side.
Even though I am already living here for overa month now, I still need to pinch myself from time to time in order to realize that this is not a dream but actually happening right here right now.
Things to do in the Galapagos Islands
Well, when I arrived on the islands, I thought I was travelling in time. I felt the evolution still being in process. You can find wildlife you cannot discover anywhere else in the world.
The iguanas, which are sunbathing everywhere without any fear of people, seem so unreal that I first thought they were statues robbed out of a museum and placed all around the islands.
And even though I knew I would find big turtles, never ever would I have expected them to be that huge! While observing these stunning creatures in detail, you will be reminded of little dinosaurs. (Try imagining them without carapaces!)
Dinosaurs – who survived the Ice Age and who survive a whole humans’ life living up to 150 years right in paradise.
But not only will you spot amazing reptiles since the Galapagos Islands offer you a little bit of everything. While hopping around the islands, you won’t be able to miss phenomenal birds flying high up in the sky such as blue or red footed boobies, frigates or albatrosses.
Rapidly, I fell in love with pretty much everything this little piece of earth located about 1000 km away from the Ecuadorian mainland in the middle of the Pacific Ocean has to offer.
Galapagos Islands marine world
However, my personal highlight is the marine world. Even if you never dived before in your life (like me!), this is the time of your life where you should give it a go – you won’t regret it! And even if you are a little or a little more afraid of doing so (like me!) you just have to do it, because as you know in the end you will only regret the chances you didn’t take and this might be an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Once you come here, I want you to get the whole out of your trip.
You can live your dream and nobody stops you if you decide to dive or snorkel with Galapagos and hammerhead sharks, huge marine turtles, rays and fish in all colors and sizes, swim with dolphins or play with sea lions.
And no, you don’t have to be scared of the sharks. I have no idea why media gives you the impression of them being dangerous. Because they are not, they are just other curious and beautiful creatures of this wonderful planet earth that want to live peacefully in their environment – the endlessly fascinating ocean.
What are the highlights of the Galapagos Islands?
Even though every island features some specials itself, the general vibes you get around the Galapagos Islands are similar. The differences though are easiest spotted when going on a cruise.
If you decide to do so, you should not book it in advance but rather find economic last minute Cruceros offered by the little twee agencies all around Puerto Ayora. With some Spanish and negotiating skills, it is actually possible to save a lot.
But even with a little amount of money and time you can get the most of the islands’ beauty without going on a fancy cruise.
You should definitely have a look at the best spots of the following islands:
SANTA CRUZ ISLAND:
The little city with its ca. 20.000 inhabitants is actually the biggest one around the islands. Hardly ever a visitor will miss this twee place full of travel agencies, restaurants, bars and tourist’ shops as it is the corner from where pretty much all the adventures begin. From here, you can organize your 1 or more day cruise to other inhabited or uninhabited islands or plan your diving and snorkel trips.
Based all around Puerto Ayora, my personal highlights are:
- The Highland – Leaves you speechless in between the stunning landscapes formed by volcanic eruptions, lava tunnels and the giant turtle reserve station (“El Chato”) where you can observe the giants in their natural environment.
- “Las Grietas” – A lagoon between beautiful cliffs where the clear water sparkles in the most exquisite shades of blue. A snorkel is a must-do over here!
On your way back, you will pass the “Playa de los Alemanes”, which might be a good idea for a little chill and swim in the ocean afterwards.
- The Charles Darwin Research Station – Is like a free out- and indoor museum where you can learn everything about the history of evolution and its theory discovered by Charles Darwin in 1835. (“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”)
In addition to that, the station features a huge turtle breeding center on-site in order to repopulate the different types of turtles on all of the islands again.
Calle de los Kioskos
In this street the food is amazing and affordable. Here, you can get in touch with the locals easily and can follow the process of preparing your personal lobster which will end up on your plate – live!
Be it day or night, just wandering along the pier offers you amazing views and I guarantee you will find some little baby sharks swimming around.
Is a little locality on the biggest of all islands – Isabela – counting 60% of all the Galapagos mainland area but only around 3.000 islanders living here.
If you wish to escape the crowds and bring a lot of time and patience with you, Isabela is the perfect island for you. Up in the west of the archipelago, everything is way slower than usual. Nevertheless, it is the island to go out and get crazy as the best parties are waiting for you out here.
I was really amazed when hearing some electronic beats after all the million times of D-D-D-Des..pa.. You know what’s about to come here, don’t you? If not, lucky you!
Well, all the beach bars are located right next to the little town, and – oh wonder – next to the beach! An incredibly amazing large sandy beach.
At last, while sipping your Mojito and staring at the wide oceans’ waves from the top of a little treehouse you will stop and wonder if all this is actually real or if you are dreaming and you will find out that it is reality and dream at the same time.
Cariño, this is a dream and you are living it!
Concha de Perla
Of course, there is a lot more to see and do around Isabela Island. A wonderful place you can visit for free is called “Concha de Perla”. It is a little bay located very close to the port of Isabela, which is why it is always visited by many tourists. If you want to go snorkeling with turtles, sea lions and penguins without crowds of people surrounding you, you should go in the early morning hours while most people on holiday are still asleep.
Laguna de los Flamingos
Other delightful spots worth a visit are the “Laguna de los Flamingos” or the Turtle Breeding Station, which are both reachable in a short walking instance.
Apart from the free stuff, there are a few marvelous places worth spending some money for as well. If you want to discover deeper parts of the islands, you have to book a day tour. On the “Los Túneles” or “Tintoreras” tours, snorkelers and divers will find a gorgeous submarine world with many species that are unique on the Galapagos Islands.
Just the top of the iceberg
And all of this is just the top of the iceberg; all the other fascinating islands placed somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean each with its own natural beauty and unbelievable wildlife, are just waiting for you to discover their magic.
Another wise quote of Darwin says: “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” So don’t waste your time any longer – get up, book your flight, and travel in time – Galapagos Adventure here you come!