Do you think you have explored all the beautiful and exiting places around the world? Wait a minute, there is one maybe you have not yet visited. This is an island that can challenge you into thinking differently about your world view. Galapagos Islands are a group of 19 islands that is situated along the Pacific Ocean located at about 1000km from the continent of South America. This group of 19 islands which is surrounded by a marine reserve has been dubbed a living museum which is unique and is also said to be showcasing evolution.
Because it is located in such a way that is found at a confluence of three ocean currents, it has become a “melting pot” of marine species. The underwater life creatures you find in the island cannot be found anywhere else in the world. These groups of isolated islands off the coast of Ecuador and its ecosystem are seen as wonder nature extreme case of showcasing biodiversity. You can see almost everything from penguins which are living in the tropics and frigate birds which turn their wrinkled throat sacs into some extraordinary inflated red balloons.
Places in Galapagos Island
There are so many destinations in the Galapagos worthy of visiting. These groups of islands are what make it interesting. One of these is the island of Santa Cruz. It has the most developed town in the island and it also boast as the largest in terms of size. This island is more than a man made world. It is full of accessible beaches, eye catching sites and remote highlands in the interior. It is a place for adventure far from the trail of tourism. San Cristobal can be called the capital of paradise according to local watchers. It has one of highest tourism potential sites only second to Santa Cruz.
San Cristobal is the fifth largest island found in the archipelago and has a bird known as the Chatham mockingbird. The bird which is very common throughout the island is not found anywhere else in the world.
Another place to look out for is Puerto Bacquerizo Moreno. This destination maintains a feel of a fishing village. It is sleepy in nature and has a world class surfing. However, it still remains under the shadow of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.
Sights and scuba diving
The Galapagos Islands boast of so many sights, tours and activities. One of such is the Tortuga bay and around. It has a white sand beauty that cannot be rivaled in the whole of South America. It is a great place for swimming, surfing and sunbathing. In addition, Sharks, Marine iguanas, flamingoes, pelicans can be seen in abundance. Other sites include Volcan Sierra Negra, Villamil lagoon, Darwin Lake, land iguana, waved albatross, flightless cormorants, Darwin’s finches, Muro de las Lagrimas among many others. These are natural landmarks, nature, wildlife, lakes and historic sites.
However, we are interested in what we can find underwater. The list of wildlife we can encounter there is quite long and a few examples are hammerhead sharks, sea lions, marine iguanas, penguins, seals, turtles, eagle rays, Galapagos sharks, golden rays or whale sharks.
In Galapagos we can enjoy our diving holidays booking a liveaboard or some day trips. There is plenty of interesting dive sites, such as:
- Wolf and Darwin Islands (these two are highly recommended to visit with a liveaboard tour)
- Floreana (south of Santa Cruz Island)
- Gordon Rocks (near the east coast of Santa Cruz Island)
- North Seymour (north of Santa Cruz)
- Mosquera (between Seymour Island and Baltra Island)
- Beagle Rocks (south of Santiago Island)
- Daphne Minor (north of Santa Cruz)
- Bartolomé (east of Santiago Island)
- Cousins Rock (east of Santiago)
- Namless Island (west of Santa Cruz)
- Pitt Point (northeast of San Cristobal Island)
- Cape Douglas (Fernandina Island)
When to Go
Because of the varying activities of wild life, each month has its own highlights. An example is that wing turtles will begin laying of eggs in January, penguins will interact with swimmers on Bartolome from May all through the end of September, humpback whales will begin to arrive in June through September. Sea Lions peak pupping is around august while aqua-aerobics play by their pub is in November. In December, tortoise eggs start hatching. This means that there are activities all year round. From December to May, there is a hot, humid and bit of rainy season (It is hottest in March and April). This period sees the seas being clearer and calmer making it the best time for snorkeling.
Basically there are two seasons there:
- Dry: The tourist peak season is the dry one from July to December, especially for those who want to see whale sharks; however the water is cooler (19 oC–23 oC) and the ocean should be choppier.
- Wet: January to June is the rainy season and the water is generally warmer (in some points the currents keep the water cool all the year) and the best moment to encounter hammerhead sharks and manta ray.
It is not surprising that over 170,000 people visited Galapagos last year as there is really nowhere else quite like this place. It is a very high profile place and a many people really want to see it for themselves.
Finally, in this link you will find plenty of accommodation option for your visit to Galapagos Islands.