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4 min read

Galapagos Islands Top-10 Highlights

A traveler’s guide to unmissable experiences in the Archipelago of Columbus.

We often learn among general vacation enthusiasts that the idea of traveling to the Galapagos Islands sounds intriguing, exotic and yet, generally out of reach. Out of reach? Absolutely not the case! Take a moment to read why this amazing destination is one of the most remarkable places to visit, especially if you're traveling from North America. Designed for all ages from 8 to 80, the Galapagos packs in plenty of wonder for any nature enthusiast. We’re here to guide you through the top 10 unmissable experiences that make the Galapagos a must-visit. Each highlight on this list encapsulates the essence of the islands' beauty and ecological significance. Trust us when we say an expedition voyage to the Galapagos Islands will leave an indelible mark on your heart. 

1. Snorkeling with Sea Lions: The Galapagos is famed for its friendly sea lions, and snorkeling alongside these playful creatures is a joyous experience. I are pretty, but do they match the personality of a curious and playful underwater sea creature? Not a chance. This rates #1, and if you happen to snorkel with a BABY sea lion then your experience ranks off the charts.  

2. Witnessing the Blue-Footed Boobies: The iconic blue-footed boobies (yes, it's a bird!) are the mascot of the Galapagos. Observing their quirky mating dances and vibrant blue feet is not just comically entertaining, but they're also capable of diving 80 feet below the water's surface. Let's just say their awkward waddle on land is no joke underwater.

3. Discovering the Giant Tortoises : Slow and steady wins the race, and encountering these gentle giants is a profound experience. The Galapagos giant tortoises are an emblem of the islands, and you'll feel as if you've entered the dinosaur age whilst standing nearby. 

4. Walking Amongst Marine Iguanas: Speaking of the dinosaur age, here's another reptile that one can stare at for hours. OK, maybe just we can, but if iguanas are your thing then Fernandina Island is home to the world's largest colony of marine iguanas. Fun Fact: The Galapagos iguana can hold their breath while eating underwater for up to 40 minutes.

5. Birdwatching at Genovesa Island: Don't get too fixated on the Blue-Footed Booby when other remarkable birds living on Genovesa, or "Bird Island," is a paradise for birdwatchers. There's just an element of surprise and peace in bird-watching and Galapagos delivers both.

6. Walking in the Footsteps of Charles Darwin: Linked with the Galapagos archipelago, Darwin's most influential work -- the Origin of Species -- goes hand-in-hand with this region wherein he details his theory of evolution by natural selection. Just visiting evidence of his research provides influence for lively discussion.

7. Another bird you'll fall in love with...the Waved Albatross: You must visit between April and December to witness the 2.5-meter wingspan of the Galapagos Albatross. The largest bird in the archipelago, they spend the majority of their life gliding over the ocean. One solid reason we don't pollute the ocean is for their viewing pleasure.

8. Hike Across Old Lava Flows: Most of the Galapagos archipelago is characterized by volcanic hot spots marked by lava formations. Earth's paint pallet comes into full display as we owe the islands' existence to volcanic eruptions that occurred over 5 million years ago.

9. Getting to know the Ecuadorian Guides: Saving the best for last! You'll fall in love with the Galapagos guides. Immensely proud of their heritage, the Ecuadorian naturalists are good natured, friendly, and love to share the beauty of their national park. They politely enforce rules so that this UNESCO World Heritage Site will be around for many years to come.

10. Cruising the Islands: Obviously, we recommend an expedition cruise! Why? It's time efficient, you can travel further and see more of the islands, all while enjoying the benefits from an all-inclusive ship. Unpack your suitcase once, eat local, fresh food and enjoy the sunset from a new viewpoint every evening.

Overall, each of these 10 experiences brings you closer to understanding the delicate balance of our ecosystems and the importance of conservation. Whether it's through intimate wildlife encounters, hiking among geological formations, or learning about evolutionary biology, the Galapagos promises a journey of discovery and awe. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an adventure that not only delights the senses but also enriches the soul. The Galapagos Islands await!