GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: Best Things to See and Do
The 7th destination on the #wanderlustseries are the:

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS!

A place I am longing to go so baldy!
image via Flickr CC // gladner
The Galápagos Islands are a nature lovers absolute dream come true. With over dozens and dozens of native species endemic to the area, it’s impossible to leave without feeling a sense of awe. The unique environment, consisting of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets, really does have that WOW factor everyone who’s been talks about. Here you can find giant tortoises, land and marine iguanas, too many birds to list, as well as snorkel and dive with sea lions, turtles, hammerhead sharks, and schools of rainbow colored fish. And that’s only whats on the top of my head.  Being an avid animal lover myself, this little chain of volcanic islands is at the top of my bucket list.  Plus, you can’t leave before viewing the famous blue-footed boobie!
So where are the Galapagos Islands located?
  
The archipelago is located 575 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the country to which it belongs.  The islands are located in both the northern and southern hemispheres, just around the equator.
Top Things to See and Do:

 

Relax on Isabela Island

Isabela Island, the largest island of the Galapagos, is also one of the youngest islands. It is home to the largest number of wild tortoises, and penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, boobies, pelicans and Sally Lightfootcrabs can also be found here as well. The beaches are absolutely gorgeous, with it’s turquoise sea, and the west coast is the best place in the Galapagos for viewing whales and dolphins. And even better, it’s shaped like a sea horse!
Isabela Island

Charles Darwin Research Centre

Located on Santa Cruz Island, scientists (both Ecuadorian and foreign) constantly work on research projects for the preservation of the Galapagos ecosystems. The research station was established in 1964, and visitors can nice stroll through and view tortoises, land iguanas, birds and flora. The giant tortoise breeding program is not to be missed!

Land Iguana, Darwin Research Center 11/05/08

Hike the Sierra Negra volcano

 

The Sierra Negra is one of the primary volcanos that helped form the famous Isabella Island, which last erupted in 2005. Hike up the caldera and around to the lava flows, which are absolutely stunning. Once you get to the top, the views are breathtaking. If you’re spending some time on Isabella Island and don’t mind getting a bit tired and muddy, this is the activity for you!

 

Hiking Sierra Negra Volcano

Tortuga Bay

 
Tortuga Bay is home to thousands of marine iguanas.

Galápagos Marine Iguana

Sail around on a luxurious catamaran

 

 

Tagus Cove

See Giant Tortoises

Villamil - Isabela island - Darwin Station


Go bird-watching

Blue-footed Boobie

 

Snorkel with sea lions, turtles, and penguins

Because why not?!

sea lion swimming school, galapagos [IMG_6277]
 

Look out for crabs


Sally Lightfootcrabs are strikingly beautiful, and can be found on numerous islands throughout the Galapagos.

Galapagos Crab

Some additional resources:

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