The Galapagos Islands may make you think differently about the world. Nowhere else in the world can you have a staring contest with the wild animals and they will stare you down. The animals that inhabit the islands think that any visitors are outsiders. There are many wonders to see on a Galapagos Islands cruise. A cruise to the Galapagos Islands will not be like the Bahamas or any Pacific paradise.
Nowhere else in the world can, you have a staring contest with wild animals and you are out stared. The creatures that inhabit the Galapagos think of humans as outsiders.
The Galapagos Islands are not the Bahamas, these islands are not a Pacific paradise, and in fact, most of the islands do not have any vegetation. There are over 30,000 people living on them. The population is growing and there is a lot of development and most of it is to support the growing number of tourists.
Several islands are worth visiting. Bartolome Island is like walking on the moon. It is unfriendly to most plants and animals. After landing, you will climb about 30 minutes up to a steep slope to the summit of a once active volcano. You can stop and view the lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones and from the top, you can view the famous Pinnacle Rock. Down below you will see clear water with tropical fish and you can go snorkeling with them. Penguins sometimes swim in this area. On the other side of the island, you will see sea turtles and white tipped sharks.
Tower (Genovesa) Island is one of the fabulous islands in Galapagos. After you land on Darwin Bay coral beach, you will go past tide pools where swallow-tailed and lava gulls stay. You will enter a forest of mangroves where colonies of great frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females while they are flying. You can take a panga or dinghy ride along the jagged shoreline and you will see the beautiful red-billed tropicbird. At Prince Philips Steps, you will find storm petrels and the short-eared owl and watch the famous red-footed boobies nesting in Palo Santo trees.
Santiago (James) Island has many sites. Puerto Egas is a great place to see octopus, starfish and other sea life in the tide pools. At low tide, you might see marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Look for great blue herons, lava herons, Oystercatchers and yellow crowned night herons. Your walk will end at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where you will encounter fur sea lions that were once near extinction.
Fernandina (Narborough) Island is a great place to visit. Punta Espinosa is located in the western part of the Archipelago. Fernandina is the youngest and most beautiful island found in Galapagos. It is the largest colony of marine iguanas in the Galapagos and you will see hundreds of them along the rugged shoreline baking in the sun. You will observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Cormorants build their nests on the point and these birds are unable to fly.
Isabella (Albemarle) Island has many volcanoes. Six volcanoes flowed together and formed Isabella, which is the largest island in Galapagos. You can take a nature walk and discover a salt-water lagoon. You will have a great view of lava fields, volcanic formations and the ocean. You can explore Tegus Cove in pangas or sea Kayaks and find Galapagos penguins and other seabirds.
Santa Cruz Island is great and you will see the scenery change as you wind your way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. If you visit Santa Cruz Island from June to January, you will be able to see giant tortoises on a private farm located in the highlands.
You can visit the highland ranch Charles Darwin Research Station where they conduct research from anatomy to zoology.
You can stroll through the town of Puerto Ayoa, which has a population of over 10,000. It is the largest town in the Galapagos. You can buy souvenirs, mail postcards and enjoy the local charm.
Hood (Espanola) Island has much to see and you can walk on endless stretches of sandy beach. You will find colonies of sea lions here. You can swim and snorkel with the sea lions. You can enjoy the colorful diversity of sea life near Gardner Islet.
You will disembark at Punta Suarez where you will witness great sites. Sea Lions will noisily greet you as you land on their beach. Mockingbirds will peak at your shoelaces. You will see the waved albatross perform their mating rituals from April to November. You will see the masked boobies caring for their young and the blue-footed boobies doing there “sky pointing.” You will also see finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks. You can observe the marine iguana. You can identify the marine iguanas by the traces of red and green color. Colorful light foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near the famous “blow hole.”