5 Things Not to Miss in The Galapagos Islands

Commune with the (Weird) Birds

Blue Footed Booby in the Galapagos
The Blue-footed Booby

A trip to The Galapagos Islands is guaranteed to make a birder out of anyone. The sheer numbers, and just plain strange features that isolation has brought upon these fabulous creatures would have been enough for us. Couple this with fact that we spent more effort backing away from them than trying to spot them - these birds have absolutely zero fear of humans - and we were instantly hooked! More on the Birds of the Galapagos...


WATCH: It's not enough to see the birds of The Galapagos - you have to hear them, too! See them with their babies!

Romp with Giant Tortoises (and see them breed!)

Galápagos Giant Tortoise on Isabela's Urbina Bay

In this strange land of strange animals, none is more iconic than the Galapagos Giant Tortoise, known as Galápagos in Spanish. The place is literally named after them.

Growing to over six feet long and eight hundred pounds, these are the biggest tortoises on the planet and one of the largest reptiles. No Galapagos visit would be complete without seeing some of these mammoth Testudines. We weren't willing to take a chance on seeing one in the wild and risk missing a sighting, so we went right to the source, Isabela Island and the Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela. More on the Giant Tortoises and the Breeding Center...

Cavort with Sea Lions

Sea lion lounging on a boat in the Galapagos Islands

Of all of the fabulous animals in The Galapagos Islands, the one that made it hardest to obey the strict always-stay-six-feet-away-from-the-animals rule were the sea lions. Sea lions, or lobos del mar (wolves of the sea) as they are called in Ecuador, have great personalities, are cute, cuddly looking and have no fear of humans (even underwater!) More Sea Lions of The Galapagos...


WATCH: A mama sea lion is reunited with her baby after a bit of a scare!

Explore the Volcanic Landscape (and look down into a live volcano!)

Cinder cones, Bartolome Island Galapagos

There is another side to this archipelago. A side that may appeal to a geologist more than an ornithologist or herpetologist, because the Galapagos are a classic example of a geologic hot spot. Discover wild formations, overnight in a caldron (in a boat!), check out lava bombs, appreciate the artistry of a brand-new lava floe and hike up an active volcano - then gaze down into it! More on these Islands of Fire...

Half the Fun is Underwater

Green Sea Turtles in Galapagos Island, Ecuador

Half the awe and fun of The Galapagos Islands is underwater. The sea creatures are just as unafraid of humans as their counterparts on land. You will get up close. It's a good idea to learn to swim backwards before you go! More Underwater Galapagos...

WATCH: Imagine Veronica's surprise when this sea lion wanted to play with her!

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Click here for our entire live-blog of our adventure in The Galapagos

Delve deeper:
See the incredible work done at Giant Tortoise Breeding Center
Check out the landscape of The Galapagos
Cavort with Sea Lions!
The Birds of The Galapagos - wild!
The Underwater World of The Galapagos
People live in the Galapagos?
Our tips for visiting The Galapagos Islands - including what to pack

YOUR TURN: Are The Galapagos Islands on YOUR bucket list? Have we inspired you to go? 




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