Galapagos Islands are the only place on earth where animals, birds and reptiles do not fear humans. Animals here are very friendly and accept humans as a part of their environs. Charles Darwin was spellbound by these islands and with the life forms that survived within the restricted area of these islands.
The Galapagos Islands are located on one of the most active volcanic regions of the earth, the Nazca Plate. They are also popular as the 'laboratory of evolution' because it is home to unique species of plants and animals that have displayed continuous evolutionary changes. These islands have remained the focal point of fascination for researchers and tourists alike.
Isolated living in a different environment attributes to exceptional features in animals and plants of the Galapagos Islands (though these animals and plants belong to the same group of life forms in the mainland). This has made the animals and wildlife of this island, a subject of special interest.
The climatic condition of the islands is also very peculiar. January through March is hot and wet, it is very hot during March and this so is apt for snorkeling and diving. This season is also considered as the best season for plant lovers as they get to see a variety of flora.
July through September is cool and dry and the overall climatic conditions are cool. This is the time to watch aquatic animals as they come out freely to the water surface during the cool season. The ocean temperature plays a main role in controlling the overall temperature and climate of the island. Unpredictable climates are very common in these islands and this peculiar climatic condition attributes to the unique flora and fauna of the islands.
Galapagos Islands can be thoroughly enjoyed through cruises. Each island is unique and has a distinct ecological and biological world. All Galapagos cruises have a naturalist guide on board. The naturalist guide is a trained professional who briefs tourists on the history, geology, flora and fauna of each island. Galapagos cruises are available for 4 or 8 days time period and over a price range too.
Angelique Galapagos: Perfect for adventure travelers, the Angelique is a trendy sailing yacht with a capacity for 16 passengers and eight double bunk cabins. The ambience matches a pirate ship in the colonial period. Angelique was revamped in 2001. The Angelique yacht offers 4, 5 and 8-day cruising itineraries.
The professional local guides take visitors on expedition to the most interesting islands that showcase astonishing beauty and a variety of the widespread wildlife and plants on land and in sea. Angelique embarks from Baltra on South Seymour Island; and debarks on any one magnificent island. The yacht covers the archipelago of the northern, central and southern islands.
Sagitta Galapagos: Sagitta yacht with an abundant deck space promises extra fun for people who wish to explore Galapagos through a yacht cruise. It has a capacity of 16 passengers and is divided into two decks. There are 10 cabins; the yacht has plenty of socializing area. This yacht offers plenty of sightseeing and photography opportunities while sailing or at anchor. You can watch dolphins from the sun deck or just soak in sun on the spacious sun decks of this yacht.
Cachalote Galapago: Cachalote means sperm whale in Spanish, this yacht was built in California to suit the comfort of a relaxed sailor. It was refurbished yet again in 2002.
The Galapagos Islands were declared as the Galapagos National Park since 1959. The national park is a living museum and has 13 main islands. There are many more small islands that are not inhabited by humans.
Cactus forests, white sand beaches, land and marine iguanas, colorful birds like albatrosses, blue-legged and red-legged boobies, flamingos, frigates, finches, gulls, cormorant (these birds have wings but cannot fly), penguins, pelicans, etc, more than 400 species of fish, reserve of giant tortoises; rich and diverse marine reserves make these islands a wonderful place for touring and adventure.
The marine reserve of Galapagos has been declared as the 'Natural Heritage of Humanity' by the UNESCO. Voyages in Galapagos include cruises exploring the water and land tours that explore the land.
The towns of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal Island) have small streets that have many souvenir shops. On Santa Cruz Island tourists can visit the highlands to see the giant turtles in their native habitats.
Lava tubes (natural caves) can be hiked and explored. Tour agencies help in arranging visits to the highlands and lava tubes. These islands are famous for their scuba diving surface and depth. Divers can enjoy the company of hammerhead sharks, whales, swordfish, sea turtles, sea lions, whale sharks and other impressive species.
Galapagos Islands Travel
All visitors to this Island need to possess a valid passport. No visa is required for stay up to 90 days.
Stay: Stay in Galapagos is usually in boats and cruises, for people who wish to stay on land, accommodation is available in four islands namely San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria and Isabela. Accommodation includes youth hostels, star hotels, resorts and budget hotels.
Food: Galapagos Islands offer variety of seafood. Delicious sea food includes ceviche and encocado de langostino (made with local lobster called langostino.
Carry Along: Bug repellant, sun block, sun glasses, swim suit, film rolls, underwater cameras, motion sickness medication, light clothes, flash lights, basic toiletries, travel insurance, water proof bags
Visit: Hot season is from December to May, humidity is high and average temperature is about 26°-30° C. Days are hot and sunny with occasional showers. June through November is dry season with cool winds and sporadic drizzle. Temperatures range between 20°-24° C during the day and are further low during the night.
Naturist guides: Most places and islands in Galapagos insist on a certified naturalist guide to accompany visitors. Visitors cannot travel on their own to such places.
Galapagos vacation packages
Navigable Galapagos tours or yacht tours: They are organized in a fashion that all activities happen from the independent tourist vessel. Tourists visit island sites, eat and sleep on their boat. This is a very popular option as it permits tourists to visit a wide-range of islands in the archipelago. These tours are usually promoted by tour agencies.
Combination tours: They are organized in tie-up with hotels in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz and at times with hotels in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal). Combination tours starting from Puerto Ayora take visitors to numerous tourist spots on the island of Santa Cruz and other central islands. Tourists are taken to various places of interest within the water too. The tourists return to the hotel they stay after their days visit. Day tours include scuba-diving tours and surfing tours.
Galapagos adventure tours: These tours include activities like hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, wildlife viewing, etc. These tours are supported by local individuals and are more flexible. They are economical when compared to organized tours.
Diving in the Galapagos
Scuba diving tours in the Galapagos Islands offer corals, hammerheads, Pacific green sea turtles, whale sharks, and of course scores of tropical fish and underwater life.Acclaimed as one of the top 10 spots in the world for diving, Galapagos is an adventure to be cherished.