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Things to Know Before Visiting the Galapagos Islands
By July 16, 2021 No Comments

Things to Know Before Visiting the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago paradise, known for their incredibly diverse and rare collection of endemic species. These islands, teeming with many species of birds, fish, reptiles, and wildlife, are where Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution by natural selection.

A nature lover’s paradise, a trip to the the Galapagos Islands will take you on a fascinating adventure. With a visit here you will get the chance to see many species of rare and beautiful creatures — including albatrosses, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, fur seals, frigate birds, sea lions, and so much more! If you’re thinking to plan your trip, discover some things to know before visiting the Galapagos.

How Do You Get There?

The islands are not easy or cheap to get to — they are remote and situated far from the coast of Ecuador! The only way to reach them is by plane from Quito or Guayaquil. The flights from Guayaquil are slightly cheaper, but you will have greater availability and choice of flights when departing from Quito.

You will arrive in Isla Baltra Airport, from where you will travel two hours to Puerto Ayora — the main settlement of the Galapagos. It is also possible to fly to San Cristobal, where the airport is a 20 minute-walk from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Once you arrive on the islands, the best way to get around and see the breathtaking sights is with a boat tour.

Tips for Seeing Wildlife

  • There are strict controls on tourist access for wildlife areas in the Galapagos, in an effort to protect the unspoiled natural habitats. All visitors to the islands must be accompanied by a naturalist tour guide certified by the national park.
  • Do not walk off the marked paths, as you can destroy the delicate ecosystem.
  • For the best experiences and highest chances of seeing wildlife, it is recommended that you look for a tour with no more than 10 tourists per guide.
  • Ask your boat tour operator if you can do shore landings as early as possible. If you are out at 5-6 AM you can beat the crowds and the afternoon heat.
  • To see the incredible prehistoric looking giant tortoises, visit the Galapagos Interpretation Center in San Cristobal or the Charles Darwin Research Center in Santa Cruz.
  • The best place to see penguins is Tagus Cove on Isla Isabela.
  • If you would like to see Marine Iguanas, the best place is Fernandina, which also has a large colony of sea lions at Punta Suarez.
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When is the Best Time to Visit?

One of the most important things to know before visiting the Galapagos is there is no bad time to travel — every season will give you unique experiences for seeing different species of wildlife. The seas will be at their calmest and the weather will be warm from December to May — however the animals will be more active in July and August.

The best time for divers to visit is from June to November, as the water will be cooler and attract more fascinating marine life such as hammerhead sharks and whale sharks. It is important to book your trip at least a few months in advance, as the tours will fill up — especially during the high season.

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