Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Galápagos Islands

G is for Galápagos!

Galapagos Islands - sea lions with a view


Galápagos are famous for their incredible wildlife, the islands are a national park, a marine biological reserve and a UNESCO world heritage site. The islands are an archipelago made up of 13 main islands, and 6 smaller islands. They are owned by Ecuador and their principal language is Spanish. Tourism there is strictly controlled in an attempt to keep the islands habitat protected.

The giant tortoise, those that Charles Darwin so-called rode and ate, are one of the most famous inhabitants of the islands, now an entirely protected species. As well as the tortoise you can see sealions, penguins, and marine iguanas.

Galapagos Islands

Galápagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus), Galápagos Islands, Ecuador 

Galapagos Islands 

As the islands are a national park, and a nature reserve it is strict about it's visitors and has a list of rules. You must stay on the designated paths, and be accompanied by a certified Galapagos guide. You may not take anything from the island, except for your photos- professionals need to get permission- and you may not introduce anything new to the islands either. You should be safe, away from the animals, keep your distance and do not feed them. Smoking, and any kind of open flame is not permitted on the islands. Jet skiing, waterskiing and submarines are all forbidden.

Galapagos Islands

The only way you can get to the Galápagos is by flying from either Quito or Guayaquil airports- and flights are expensive, $450 in low season and up to $550 in high season. You cannot book single tickets without proof of transport off the islands. Flights tend to leave mainland Ecuador early in the morning and leave late afternoon from the archipelago.

Galapagos sea lion nursing, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador - nursery with a view

All photos by Derek Keats via Creative Commons




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12 comments:

  1. Ahhhh all the posts about the Galapagos are killing me - this would literally be paradise for me with all the animals :)

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    Replies
    1. You sure would love it. I love how when we write about places on our own blogs we almost always want to go to wherever the other one is talking about :)

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  2. Oooh! Lovely... This post is sending me off on daydreams. I've been intrigued by the Galapagos since childhood. Would love to visit! :D

    ~Tui Snider~
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider's Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

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    1. Me too! I hope to get there one day.

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  3. I would love to visit the Galapagos. I had no idea the flight was so expensive. Wow!

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    1. Until researching for this post, neither did I!

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  4. The wildlife on the Galapagos islands intrigues me. I would dearly love to see the giant tortoises and those amazing, even prehistoric iguanas. One day!

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    1. Right? The iguanas are my favourite.

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  5. Ahhh I've been dying to go here! My inner nerd wants to see this place for all the biology and sciency reason and then my normal self just wants to be near all the seals and cute animals. Great photos!

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    1. Right?! I wanna see both sides, I am excited for the seals and cute animals too :)
      Plus you guys are pretty close in Costa Rica, or at least, a lot closer than I am in the UK :)

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  6. What an awesome experience to visit the Galapagos Islands! I know that this would be a "once in a lifetime" opportunity if given the chance to go here but to be able to explore such beautiful, natural landscapes and see all of the gorgeous wildlife and animal life would be worth the trip on its own.

    Great post and add it to the bucket list definitely!!

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