The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are a collection of islands, located about 1000km, or two hour’s flight from the Ecuadorian mainland. They are home to some of the most diverse species on the planet and are a real slice of paradise.
The environment on the Galapagos Islands is pristine and it is incredibly important to keep the area as untouched as possible.
All visits to the Galapagos Islands are very controlled so as to not have too many visitors in the one area, a terrific idea for both guests to the islands and the animal inhabitants, not to mention the environment.
Visitors must also stay on the designated tracks and all animals have right of way. As a guest on the islands you may not approach the wildlife but they can and do approach you. It is not uncommon to have penguins and sea lions swim with you – a magical experience.
As a visitor, you are almost guaranteed an incredible experience getting up close and personal with blue footed boobies, owls who are out in daylight (there are no predators) albatross, hawks, nascar boobies, red footed boobies, frigate birds, land and marine iguanas, penguins, sea lion pups and of course the Galapagos tortoise.
Visit several islands
The ideal is to visit several islands as each has their own unique inhabitants, for example flamingos are found on Floreana, albatross on Espanola, tortoises on San Cristobal with sea lions, iguanas and the birds on almost all the islands although there are marked differences between the same species. There is a range of cruises running tours or you can stay on the islands and travel by ferry although with this option you are limited to only a few islands.
Another requisite is to take a local guide. The guides have a wealth of knowledge and strive to make your whole experience extremely memorable. They convey a huge amount of information in a manner that is enjoyable and informative. They will tailor for both the adults and children in the party. As well as explanations on the wildlife, guides will educated you on the geography and geology of the islands as well as some of the history.
Entry fees to the park itself are reasonably expensive, however it is reassuring to know that 100% of the fees go to the park for the upkeep of the world treasure and nowhere else.
How to get there
The Galapagos Islands are 1,000kms from the Ecuadorian mainland, approximately 2 hours flying time. There are three flights daily from either Quito or Guayaquil. Airfares will vary according to the point of departure and time of year with the high season running Nov 1 – April 30/Jun 15 – Sept 14 and low season May 1- Jun14/Sept 15 – Oct 31. You will need to arrive in Quito or Guayaquil one day before your departure for the islands as there are no direct connections with international flights.
Contact your travel agent for further information.