What the Galapagos Islands Have to Offer Tourists
There is much more to the Galapagos Islands experience than the opportunity to see giant tortoises. Not only can we follow in the footsteps of the famous naturalist Charles Darwin but we can also have ourselves an adventure holiday, as we explore the 13 major islands and potentially hundreds of smaller islands that straddle the Ecuadorian coast of this archipelago.
Naturally, we will start with giant tortoises, then see where that takes us.
Most people who visit the Galapagos Islands to see giant tortoises in an environment that is natural to them will see these at a farm located in the highlands. The El Chato Reserve is the place to head and can be accessed on Santa Cruz Island.
Other places to see giant tortoises, apart from these farms in the highlands, will be at the Charles Darwin Research Station which is located at Puerto Ayora and where they breed them. The name that is used for this tortoise area is “Fausto Llerena” Breeding Centre. It has been named after the Galapagos Park Ranger who cared for Lonesome George. The park ranger was known by the name Don Fausto and had dedicated 43 years to conservation and the Galapagos Islands.
Unfortunately, Lonesome George died in 2012 but had become something of a conservation icon as the last known giant tortoise survivor of the Pinta tortoise species and one of the rarest creatures in the world. The Pinta tortoise was known for its long neck and toothless beak-shaped mouth.
Galapago is an old Spanish word for tortoise, which connects the giant tortoises with this island.
Charles Darwin made the Galapagos Islands famous after writing about them following his trip on the HMS Beagle in September 1835. His book The Origin of Species and his theory of evolution continues to be debated. During his time on the Galapagos Islands, he also studied finches and how the shape of their beaks had evolved to aid their survival. He noticed that fruit-eating finches had parrot-life beaks, whilst the finches that ate insects had narrower, prying beaks. Darwin is famous for quoting: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”
So, if you are into wildlife or Charles Darwin, who was born in the historic town of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, a visit to the Galapagos Islands will please you solely for this reason.
Opportunities for Adventure
Activities that are possible at the Galapagos Islands include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, sea kayaking, panga and dinghy rides, scuba diving, snorkelling, and surfing.
Snorkelling will allow visitors to the Galapagos Islands to experience sea creates close up. It differs from scuba diving in that you do not need the same training or experience to do it.
The National Park status of the Galapagos Islands will protect many parts from visitors exploring them. There are, however, set trails that have been marked for visitors. For instance, there is a lava rock trail that will take you to see marine iguanas, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies, no less. A blue-footed booby is a bird, in case you were wondering. It is native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean. It is, as you might have guessed, its bright blue feet that identify it from other birds. The male of the species has a high-stepping mating ritual or dance that it uses to attract females. It is worth looking out for that one.
If you are looking for luxury on your holiday, then you could take a Galapagos Island cruise. This allows you to explore the island while enjoying some delicious food as you travel from island to island.
Trip arrangers have constructed itineraries that will be sure to please and offer the best experiences possible during a tourist’s time at the Galapagos Islands.
The luxury-class catamarans offer greater stability as a vessel than you will experience on other cruises.
Cruises to be recommended include the Cormorant, the Petrel Galapagos Cruise, and the Ocean Spray experience.
In conclusion, the Galapagos Islands will please everyone from those who appreciate nature to those that like lots of adventure. It is an educational location to visit that will provide you and your children with plenty to talk about on your return home. Travel is supposed to broaden the mind and a trip to the Galapagos Islands can certainly promise that.