Our trip to the Galapagos Islands is one of the most epic, most memorable, most exciting trips we’ve ever taken! When I tell people about the trip, they’re always super interested, but also a little unsure… what is there to do on the Galapagos Islands? Well, the short answer is: a lot! It all depends on what you want to see and how much time you have, but here’s my quick list of the best things to do in the Galapagos Islands.
10. See Blue-footed Boobies on North Seymour Island
Blue-footed Boobies are the best! They are so funny, and their feet really are that blue. We took a tour to North Seymour Island, where they live and make their nests on the ground. The males watch the eggs, and the females go find food! And how do they find food? They fish for it, of course. They fly way up into the sky, look for fish under the water, then dive down with incredible speed! Once they hit the water, their used their duck-like blue feet to swim until they catch their prey! It was awesome to watch!
9. Find the Wall of Tears on Isabela
Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands, and in the 1940s and 50s, part of it was used as a penal colony. The prisoners built the wall stone by stone. It’s a fun walk along a well-trodden path, and you will definitely see tortoises and other wildlife along the way!
8. Visit the Darwin Research Station
There are not a ton of museums to explore in the Galapagos, but the Darwin Research Station has one! Here you’ll find an exhibition hall, library, and native garden that are all open to the public. This is where a lot of the research and studies happen so we can learn more about the islands and their inhabitants.
7. Kayak to See Wildlife
We didn’t have much luck with this on an overcast day, but we were told you can usually see birds, sea turtles, marine iguanas, and more while Kayaking off the shores of Santa Cruz! We sure did have fun looking, even if we didn’t see anything!
6. Swim in the Crack
That’s not a typo! There’s a large canyon called Las Grietas (meaning “the crack”) on Santa Cruz Island, and it’s a great place for swimming! The water is calm, and sometimes you make friends with other swimmers… human and wildlife alike!
5. Take a Letter, Leave a Letter on Floreana
The Galapagos is mighty isolated out there, and mail can be… less than regular. On the tiny island of Floreana, they have a pretty great solution. There’s a barrel that serves as the post office. You put in an addressed letter, no stamp necessary, and when someone going to the same place finds it, they take it to its destination! You might be surprised at how efficient this method of mailing can be!
4. Share the Beach with Marine Iguanas
These guys are everywhere! They range in color from black to red, and in size from tiny to extra big! They can be seen on all the islands either laying on rocks, laying on the beach, or laying on a boat dock. Or laying on a side walk. Or laying on a dirt path. You’ll see them. You’ll know them. You’ll chill with them.
3. Go Hiking on Floreana Island
This was a highlight of the trip! Steve and I enjoy hiking anyway, but on an almost deserted island? That’s the stuff of a hiker’s dreams! Floreana was actually the first island that Europeans tried to settle, but they were plagued by mystery and murders! We learned so much and had nightmares, too! But really, the scenery was amazing.
2. Visit the Tortoises
This was the main reason I wanted to visit these islands. I love tortoises! There is just something special and magestic and pre-historic about these gentle giants. You can see fully grown ones, wild ones, and even baby ones on almost all the islands!
More here: Our favorite Animals in the Galapagos
1. Swim with Penguins
This is one of the most unique and special things we’ve ever done! While on Isabela Island, we had the opportunity to swim with penguins! Galapagos Penguins are some of the smallest in the world, and the only ones that live on and around the equator. We had fun marveling at them… but I think they had more fun impressing us with their swimming skills!
Ready for your own Galapagos adventure? All your planning resources are up for you on my Ecuador Page!
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