Did you know that there are penguins that reside in the Galapagos Islands? They are the smallest of any penguins. And they are only one of the many majestic creatures that you can find roaming around the islands. Are you an animal lover? Do you love science and biology? This is the vacation for you! Bring the kids or just the spouse and enjoy the breathtaking views as well. One thing’s for certain- you will never have an island experience quite like this! If you’re thinking about a trip to the Galapagos Islands, here is a guide to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.
Know Where You Are Going!
The Galapagos Islands are technically a part of Ecuador, so get your passport and brush up on your Spanish! The islands are 575 miles west of the mainland. Remember that you are by the equator so pack for some hot days. The weather is generally warmer from December to May. However, it is never very cool.
In order to get to the beautiful islands, you will have to fly in. Almost all flights will take you to Quito first. Three airlines have flights to the islands: TAME, LAN-Ecuador, and Avianca. There are two main airports on Balta Island and San Cristobal. There are a couple of islands with accommodations for travelers: Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, or Isabela.
Being so far from the mainland, it is not ideal to stop at the Galapagos Islands for only a day. There’s simply far too much to do! You can always pick a hotel on the islands, but you can always enjoy the islands during the day while enjoying the comforts and luxuries of a cruise ship.
There is a substantial cost associated with a vacation to the Galapagos Islands. You should be prepared for steep airline tickets. Prices tend to be highest during the summer months and December – January. You should also be prepared to pay an entrance fee of $100 per adult and $50 per child when entering the islands.
There are a lot of things to do and see on the islands. The main attractions, obviously, are the various unique wildlife that you can see. Many tours will take you on hiking trails to see these amazing animals. However, you are also on islands with extensive marine life. Another very popular thing to do on the islands is to go scuba diving. You’ll be able to see a large number of the 800 different species of mollusks. Be aware that you are required to take a licensed tour guide with you to see many of the islands.
Use It as a Learning Experience
This is the place that inspired Charles Darwin to write his famous The Origin of Species. There’s a reason that this beautiful place could inspire something so monumental. The wildlife is absolutely fascinating.
The islands are home to the very last Giant Pinta tortoise in the entire world. People have tried to help the tortoise reproduce, but attempts have proven futile. The tortoise is 90 years old. When he goes, so does an entire species. This makes the Galapagos Islands a great place for everyone to learn about wildlife conservation. All uninhabited parts of the islands are a national park. The Galapagos Islands have also been declared the first World Heritage site.
Charles Darwin came to the islands in 18355 when he was only 26-years-old. While there, he was extraordinarily impressed with how well the animals adapted to their environment as well as the amazing amount of animals to observe. He was particularly interested in the no less than 15 different species of finches.
The Galapagos Islands are truly a unique place. “You will naturally get the island experience, but you will get so much more than just that. This is an inspiring place that will teach you things about the world that you never knew,” said Happy Gringo Travel. Enjoy the beauty and enjoy the wildlife. There will not be a lack of things to see and do while you are exploring. This is a great trip for families, and it’s a great trip for an adventurous couple who wants to go somewhere unique.