5 Things to do in the Galapagos Islands Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands have come a long way since Darwin’s famous expedition. No longer a set of unapproachable rocky masses at the far side of the world, the islands have instead become a tourism hotbed. Today, the Galapagos Islands offer tons of variety for travelers who want something outside of the ordinary. Their distance from the South American mainland means that you will find things in the Galapagos that can be found literally nowhere else in the world, all wrapped up in a Pacific island dream destination. If you’re thinking about a trip to the Galapagos Islands Ecuador in your future or you’ve already bought your tickets, here are five things that you must do when visiting.

Top 5 Activities in the Galapagos Islands Ecuador

Diving of the Coast

The Galapagos is made up of four primary islands with a number of satellites among them. Check out this map of the Galapagos Islands to understand what we’re talking about.

Between each of these islands is a marine biome unlike anything else in the world. Brightly colored tropical fish travel through the Galapagos, following the nutrient rich ocean currents that run through the area and creating an amazing spectacle for divers and snorkelers alike. Those interested in the marine life of the Galapagos will also be treated to exclusive creatures endemic to the area, including the Galapagos penguin, the only species of penguin that lives north of the equator.

Although the Galapagos Islands Ecuador are near the equator, it’s still better to be safe than sorry when it comes to water temperature. Before you go diving, make sure that you find the right wetsuit for your expedition.

Bird Watching

Guardian of the Booby Trail. Galapagos Islands Ecuador
Guardian of the Booby Trail. Flickr: Scott Ableman / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Speaking of penguins, the Galapagos Islands are also home to some other famous birds. Travelers can follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps, observing local birds. In addition to the Galapagos penguins, bird watchers will also get to see the notorious blue-footed booby; known for its quirky dancing, and the majestic Waved Albatross.

The Galapagos Islands Ecuador offer a range of biodiversity that can rarely be seen anywhere else. Bird watchers who want to check off their bucket lists will probably have to stop by the Galapagos at some point in their lives in order to catch sight of the many species endemic to the island.

Hiking in the Galapagos

Isla Bartolome, Galapagos Islands Ecuador
Isla Bartolome, Galapagos Islands. Flickr: Anabela Salvador George / CC BY-NC 2.0

As you might’ve guessed by now, the hiking in the Galapagos Islands Ecuador is unlike anything else in the world. Outdoorsy travelers can expect steep rocky trails with rewarding views. The Galapagos were formed by volcanic activity off the coast of South America around 5 million years ago. This makes them relatively young compared to other popular islands. And their youth has left them with exotic terrain, composed of volcanic rock that has yet to survive eons of erosion.

Hikers who explore the trails of the Galapagos will find themselves treated to incredible views of the ocean below and of other islands in the distance.

Fine Dining

Just because the Galapagos Islands are remote doesn’t mean that you can’t get great food there. Galapagos chefs take advantage of some of the freshest seafood possible to prepare brilliant seafood dishes for hungry travelers and locals alike.

Tourists can expect colorful local fine dining at venues like the Finch Bay Restaurant. The islands are also full of more casual options that still make use of the local flavors and seafood.

Go on a Cruise

Galapagos Legend cruise ship. Galapagos Islands Ecuador
Galapagos Legend cruise ship. Flickr: David Berkowitz / CC BY 2.0

Although it is possible to arrive in the Galapagos Islands by air, many travelers choose to make the islands just one stop on a destination cruise journey. Taking your time and traveling by cruise ship will allow you to truly appreciate the remoteness of the islands. It will also help you realize just why they are so unique in so many ways.

Make the Galapagos Islands Ecuador your next destination. You will find many activities are available no matter your interests. The Galapagos Islands are a truly unique travel experience.

About Nick Cesare

Nick is a writer and violist. After finding a penpal from Latvia he was struck with passion for the country and decided to study abroad there in 2010. You can reach Nick with questions or comments @cesare_nick.

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