Updated April 2020.
This Faraway Friday you’re in for a special treat… We’re headed to the Galapagos! My sweet husband took me to these mysterious islands for my 30th birthday, and it was a phenomenal trip! Here are 10 reasons you should consider a visit, too.
10. The Flamingoes
I’ve never seen so many flamingoes at once before! Or so often! They were absolutely beautiful. And as with all wildlife in the Galapagos, they are not afraid of humans.
9. The Giant Tortoises
This was the primary reason I wanted to visit the Galapagos for my 30th birthday. The tortoises can be hundreds of years old! They’re a bit like the last of the dinosaurs, and very majestic to watch. They are still on the endangered list, and many species have become extinct, but the good people on the Galapagos are combating that!
8. The Blue-footed Boobies
Seriously, who couldn’t love this guy? They fly fast and go way up high before diving into the water to retrieve their fish! It was crazy to watch them go. They can stay down several minutes, and their signature blue webbed feet help them swim.
7. Swimming with Seals and Penguins
Yes, we were permitted (with a guide) to swim with the penguins and seals! It was so much fun because they were the ones having fun with us! They would swim up and surprise us, then be gone before we realized it! Swimming with them so close that one morning is an experience I will never forget!
6. The Stone Heads
They’re not quite the same as the Easter Island heads, nor are there as many, nor do we really know where they came from! Perhaps from the first inhabitants in the 1930s? Perhaps before? These are found on Floreana Island, one of the only islands with access to fresh water!
5. Floreana Island
And speaking of Floreana Island, it was quite possibly the most fascinating of the islands we visited. It has access to fresh water, it was the first inhabited island in the chain (by people, anyway), the whole island has free wi-fi, but it’s also the least inhabited inhabitable island in the archipelago. Why’s that? It’s also mysterious. Murder, disappearances, experiments gone wrong, it’s all there to experience and discover. But I don’t recommend researching the stories until after you visit! Oh, and be prepared for two of the most uncertain hours of your life on the ferry ride there!
4. Marine Iguanas
These guys are pretty cute! They turn red on some of the islands (but not others) because of the plankton they eat, and they can swim! That’s something other iguanas can’t do. Mostly, however, they lay around in groups keeping warm.
3. Hiking with Friends
Every person on the Galapagos Islands is required to stay two meters (about 7-8 feet) away from the wildlife. But since the animals are protected so much, they have no fear of humans. If they come up to you, you are welcome to look, but don’t touch! We found this cutie on a hike one afternoon.
2. Mail a Post Card from the Barrel
There is a mail barrel on Floreana Island. You’re supposed to mail a post card here without a stamp. The idea is (and the practice has been for years) that you’ll also look through the post cards yourself and find some that are destined to someone you know or someone you don’t know who lives in your same town. You’ll take those with you and hand deliver them yourself!
1. The Accommodations
We planned for a land-based tour. Until recently, only sea-based tours were allowed, but times are changing, and hotels and B&Bs are starting to pop up for those who prefer to stay on land. We found all our accommodations to be homey, comfortable, and well-placed. Take a look out our window on Isabela Island.
Is the Galapagos a bucket list trip for you? What are you waiting for? Find everything you need to know on my Ecuador Page!
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