Live Fun Travel | Adventure Travel Blog – Following in the Footsteps of Darwin Visiting the Galapagos

We have always wished to observe in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and check out the Galapagos Islands.  A area where by pirates made use of to cling out and odd and unbelievable wildlife live.  What we located was even additional astonishing and interesting.  The human history of the Galapagos is just as persuasive as the animal record.  These islands are stuffed with surprises.   Even before leaving for the Galapagos, we had a lot of surprises.  The most important shock is that however all people has heard of the Galapagos, they didn’t exactly know in which the islands are found.  They lie around 600 miles off of the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean.  The next surprise is that most of our close friends and family did not recognize that there were being towns and villages in the Galapagos and are inhabited year-spherical, and that you can fly into the islands. There are truly a variety of smaller, inhabited villages and yes there is an airport you can fly into (in-reality there are two).  That is what we did.  We took a immediate flight from Fort Lauderdale to Ecuador (about 4 several hours) and then an hour and 45-moment flight into the Galapagos (Baltra).

So, to answer the most questioned questions: 1) No you do not have to just take a cruise, 2) Sure, you can make it more cost-effective by renting an Airbnb and taking working day journeys and 3) Sure, you can see all the legendary Galapagos animals this sort of as blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, flamingos, frigate birds, sea turtles, sea lions and more.  It was fantastic for us as we are not supporters of cruise ships and like to be cost-free to investigate and discover wherever we are.

The Galapagos lies on the equator and is built up of about 20 islands.  But that does not necessarily mean that they are all the similar and some are just not that significant to pay a visit to or see.  There are two airports, San Cristobal and Baltra and two main cities and a variety of what I would get in touch with villages.  The great wildlife is unfold among a range of islands, and you will have to get a smaller boat to each individual to expertise that. Snorkeling and Diving rule the islands and pretty much overtakes the fact that there are so numerous iconic species of animals are on the islands.

We all know that Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos aboard the HMS Beagle and produced his principle of normal selection.  It altered the way we appear at evolution and how we see the environment.  What you may not know is that he only expended a full of 5 weeks on the island and hated the journey by the end.  In his guide about organic variety, the Galapagos is only outlined briefly.  But there are other intriguing factors of human record on the islands.  A actually very good documentary about that is named The Galapagos Affair When Saten came to Eden. It is about a sequence of unsolved disappearances on the Galapagos island of Floreana in the 1930s amongst the mainly European expatriate residents at the time. We observed it incredibly exciting and considered provoking.  We hugely advise it.

Currently, the ecosystem is a lot more fragile than at any time with tourism and local climate improve.  But if you are respectful of the environment, you can enjoy all that the Galapagos has to offer, from snorkeling to experiencing the amazing animal-existence.  It is all there to be found out and to wander in the footsteps of Charles Darwin himself.

1 of our most loved quotes is by Chief Seattle in the 1860’s:

“What is man devoid of the beasts If all the beasts were long gone, man would die from a fantastic loneliness of spirit. For no matter what happens to the beasts, soon happens to gentleman. All items are connected.”

There can be no area on earth that this quotation is additional legitimate and additional evident than in the Galapagos Islands.  Almost everything is connected and we are just people to their planet.  By the way, this Itinerary are for men and women that continue to be on Santa Cruz Island in Puerto Ayora.  If you are being on San Cristobal, then you could possibly select to see other islands like Espanola and Darwin.


In this article are our Major 5 things to do when traveling to the Galapagos:


Pay a visit to the Darwin Analysis Centre

The Charles Darwin Study Station (CDRS) is situated in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and is the operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). Starting in1964, it was established so that researchers could use the station as a base for their analysis on the Galapagos Islands.  It is major emphasis is to recommend the administration steps carried out by the Galapagos Countrywide Park Directorate (GNPD) although it would seem that these two companies are moving farther and farther aside.

Conservation, restoration and advancement projects have been labored on for decades at the CDRS.  Their target is to assure that the archipelago is nicely-managed. There are a lot more than a hundred experts, educators, exploration assistants, guidance staff and volunteers from all in excess of the world that take part in this energy and about 75% are Ecuadorians.  It actually is a fascinating area, specifically their operate with the Large Tortoises.  There is a area with eggs that are buried, an area with youthful tortoises and then more mature kinds up to 50 decades outdated.  It was an incredible operation and truly interesting to see.

The tour is $10 and contains a manual and nicely value the couple of several hours.  We really liked it and then experienced an ice product as we walked from the Darwin Study Middle back again to the property we were being being in.


A Galapagos Marine Iguana receiving prepared to go out to sea. The maritime iguana is endemic to the Glapagos.


Snorkel in close proximity to the Island of Pinzón Island

Truthfully, just about each and every day-trip you consider, you have a likelihood to snorkel.  No matter if it is to North Seymore when you are observing blue-footed boobies and frigate birds, or Bartolomé Island for the incredible landscapes, there are normally snorkeling opportunities.  Just one of the good elements of the Galapagos, each journey offers your mask and fins and even a moist fit if required.  We uncovered the finest snorkeling option was Pinzón Island.  Even though you cannot go onto the island, about it was amazing.  We were in a position to snorkel with sea lions, see scores of educational institutions of fish and sea turtles.  Sharks (typically white-idea and some nursing) and the sea lions had been the highlights. And these pristine waters all around all the islands is wonderful.  Underwater photography captures some incredible times.

A lot of boats after the snorkeling working day will fish for Tuna which is also entertaining.  The interesting very clear waters close to Pinzón Island make it best for snorkeling.  We also stopped at Santa Fe Island and snorkeled there as perfectly.  This was one particular total working day with a delightful lunch and all the gear presented.  There are many selections for a snorkel day, but we feel Pinzón Island really should be around the best for any one and with any capability.  It was excellent.


We beloved traveling in the Highlands of Santa Cruz. Anticipating looking at the large tortoises

Head to the highlands and see the Large Tortoises

Experiencing the giant tortoises at the Darwin Middle was fantastic, but to see them in the wild was outstanding.  Even ahead of we acquired there, we observed some pondering alongside the roadway.  By the way, you will need a guidebook for this.  Most excursions on the islands which are 97% nationwide park, a tutorial is necessary.  Our information Johan was amazing.  Born and elevated on the Galapagos, the amount of know-how that he had significantly surpassed anything at all we could have gotten from a e-book.  And certainly, even big cruise ships have to have to have local guides and go on the same tours as  the day tours.  The only distinction is that you will sleep in a little cabin when compared to acquiring a big home plus the charge.

From Puerto Ayora it can take about 45 minutes to get into the highlands.  The information will select you up and use their car or taxi to acquire you there.  And the moment there, you get to see some huge sink holes wherever the volcanic ground has sunk in and then head to a ranch for a hike and to see the tortoises.  This is not like a ranch exactly where they provide the tortoises there so you can see them, the tortoises are not the house of the ranch.  They are also totally free to wander off and go anywhere they like.  They are shielded and safe and sound.

We saw lots of tortoises and experienced a fantastic lunch there.  It was a great split to have a day not on a boat and just loosen up and do a little bit of hiking.  Never skip this as this is a highlight of the Galapagos.


Looking at the big tortoises in the wild was a highlight of the trip. They have been under threat for a extended time, and many conservation endeavours are underway to save these outstanding animals.


Investigate North Seamore Island and see the Frigate Birds and Blue Footed Boobies

A definite emphasize of our exploration was to visit North Seamore Island which is just north of Santa Cruz.  This uninhabited island is house to Frigate Birds, Blue Footed Boobies, land iguanas and so significantly additional.  Immediately after a 45 minute trip to the dock, we boarded a catamarand and headed off.  What we received was further than our anticipations.  We were two toes, perhaps three when a male and female frigate hen carried out their mating ritual.  They had been not bothered by us and it was unbelievable to see.  This is why we arrived to the Galapagos was to working experience character in its purest kind.  And this was it.

Coupled with viewing and suffering from the blue-footed boobies and land iguanas and all the other flaura and fauna, North Seamore Island is not to be missed.



Stop by Bartolomé and see the outstanding scenery and search out for Galapagos Penguins

Our ultimate working day vacation was to Bartolome Island.  This is nicely identified for the legendary surroundings as perfectly as Galapagos Penguins that are living there.  We noticed each as effectively as Sea Lions and snorkeled all-around the island observing sharks, educational facilities of fish and rays.  It was a wonderful working day.  But, the most incredible factor that we saw was not basically on the island.  The boat vacation is 2 1/2 hours from the dock so it usually takes awhile.  On they way there, we noticed a Blue Whale.  An extraordinary web site that the captain of the boat, immediately after 20 several years of driving all over the islands experienced under no circumstances observed a single.  For our tutorial this was his second in his lifetime.  Our tutorial instructed other guides and once more right after pretty much 20 many years, they had in no way found them as well.  We have been unbelievably blessed and ended up getting a spotlight in our life, not just the excursion.  Head to Bartolome.  We are unable to promise  you will see a Blue Whale but it is an outstanding island to investigate.

bluewhale header

Kati photographing the blue whale. An unbelievable knowledge.


Our Last Term

The Galapagos was a dream come legitimate.  Pristine waters.  Uninhabited beach locations.  In town, excellent restaurants together with tiny family-owned types that serve up terrific neighborhood dishes of fish and ceviche.  Kati even ate tiramisu nearly just about every night.  Makes an attempt at restricting tourism is difficult, but Ecuador and the Galapagos are accomplishing a superior work and the guides that are mandatory to hire are amazing.  Our major guide Johan was a Galapagos indigenous and was a valuable resource for us during our journey.

When setting up you ought to determine exactly where you will fly into as you have a selection.  We chose Baltra and was not disappointed.  But be very careful.  We had been not able to see the Waved Albatross simply because we have been a couple of months early, and that excursion is improved from San Cristobol.  So we will return.  Also, maintain the weather in brain.  The Galapagos is a 12 months-round desired destination, but it can get truly humid.  There are two seasons, the wet period and the dry period.  We went all through the end of the rainy season and it only rained a single day, but it was genuinely humid.  It was great to be able to cool off in the drinking water.

kati in galapagos

It was sizzling and humid and Kati welcomed the opportunity to get into the crystal distinct blue waters of the Galapagos.

A exclusive shout out to exactly where we stayed and the proprietor.  The Galapagos Cottages had been 4 homes in a sq. with a pool in the middle.  Ours was two floors, with a balcony and they proprietor was good.  She aided us chose the day outings and also just designed every little thing exclusive for us.  It was hassle-free to wander to city, or to the beach front and it was a distinctive area to remain.  We extremely recommend it.

Remember to try to remember, the Galapagos is a specific spot.  Individuals just take second phase to the landscapes and wildlife and each and every island is distinct.  And they are still evolving.  Although we have been there a volcano was erupting altering the landscape nevertheless once more of a nearby island.  All of the islands are slowly and gradually drifting eastward and will inevitably sink and there are native and endemic species of wildlife and crops to knowledge that are really distinctive.

We will unquestionably go again the Galapagos.  They are that unique.