If you have heard of The Galapagos Islands you will have no doubt also heard that at visit to them will change your lives forever. Quite a bold statement indeed, but true from the moment you touch down…….
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, just east of Ecuador. These islands are also dubbed the Darwin islands because they played a huge part in his ideas on natural selection and survival of the fittest.
One thing that’s guaranteed when visiting this beautiful place is an abundance of nature. Wildlife is absolutely unavoidable and that’s what makes these islands some of the most exciting and fascinating in the world.
The islands were created purely by volcanic eruptions and animals travelled to the islands by chance, flying, swimming or drifting to the archipelagos. They then adapted to the harsh environments to make themselves a home. With no interruptions from humans these islands, that are now a natural reserve are filled with animals and creatures that have no fear of human beings and are therefore happy to frolic right before you with out a worry, making a trip to The Galapagos a trip that you will never forget.
You can only fly via Ecuador to one of the two airports available. We travelled from Quito which is well worth a day or two of exploring for those of you travelling from further a field. (See my Ecuador post here.)
There are a number of companies that provide the ‘live aboard’ service and each one has it’s own itinerary. I travelled with The Galaven and did the ‘A’ Cruise for 7 nights. You can view my itinerary here. The boat was a medium size boat which held 20 passengers. For me the size was perfect as the group was small enough for the excursions (I was blessed with a very friendly and prompt group, phew!) and the boat was big enough to have the facility’s to keep us comfortable.
The Galaven is a standard boat offering small basic rooms and comfortable communal areas. The food was great and the guides were fantastic which is what really counts. You can opt for a more luxury boat with extra facilities such as a pool and entertainment etc but it’s not that type of trip if I’m honest! I would recommend The Galaven as a more affordable option to see as much as possible in a short space of time.
Every day we travelled to a different island, in some cases even 2 or 3 per day!
We were lucky enough to spot almost every animal that The Galapagos has to offer, we were even lucky enough to see some sharks and a huge pod of dolphins and that’s why I am so glad we opted for a cruise. I also think that this time of year was perfect as it was cloudy in the mornings, so cool enough for the long walks, then sunny in the afternoon for beach time and photos.
Seeing the animals in the wild and being so close to them is really something so amazing that it’s impossible for me to put down in words. (Bit of a bummer seeing as I am a blogger!! ;)) but it really is an unforgettable trip that you have to experience for yourself.
The trip cost us around £5,000 pp including flights and the cruise. There is little need for spending money on the islands, just drinks and souvenirs were extra.
If you are planning to travel to the islands I suggest investing in a high quality digital camera (we took over 1000 pics!*) and an underwater camera is a must! I took my own wetsuit but the boat did have them on board for hire. The water is warm but a wetsuit is advisable to protect you from the sun and give added buoyancy. Most boats will have snorkel gear on board so no need to take your own.
Dress wise, keep it casual, even for the evenings. You will need at least 2 bikini/swimsuits as many times you will need an extra when one is drying. Pack comfortable clothes for walking and throw in some cover ups as the sun is very strong, you can’t even rely on spf50 during the midday sun.
Walking shoes are needed, good grip and comfort for long walks on rocky terrains, you would struggle in flip flops! Other than that I lived in denim shorts and crop tops mostly – A very easy location to pack for 😉
If you are planning a trip to the islands and have any questions feel free to ask by commenting below……..as for me, next stop Bolivia! 😀
*All photo’s were taken by myself or my husband and were shot using a Canon EOS 600D and a 18-55mm standard lens. Use of images by request only – email firstname.lastname@example.org