Inspiring, fascinating and unlike anywhere else on the planet, the Galapagos Islands comprise thirteen main islands, six small islands and scores of rocky islets. Following a series of volcanic eruptions, the islands’ barren landscapes and rugged volcanic terrain became a safe haven for a number of animal species. Here, you’ll find a bizarre mix of oddly integrated wildlife; from giant tortoises, to sea lions, penguins and hefty iguanas. Once on land, the animals of the Galapagos appear incredibly tame; a result of the island’s isolation and centuries of survival devoid of predators, most notably, the threat of humans, famously recognised by Charles Darwin.
These days, the animals retain their nonchalance, although their habitat is fiercely protected. Excursions are always guided, there are strict rules and only a limited number of visitors are granted access at any one time, conserving this truly spectacular area of the world. Despite this, any trip here promises to truly blow you away; nowhere else on the planet could you snorkel through schools of tropical fish in pursuit of a penguin, or wander the beach with an iguana on your heels, or allow a sea lion to lick your face. In the Galapagos Islands, nature is showcased exactly as it should be. Traverse the barren islands on various curated itineraries, discovering the north central islands or western, southern and eastern islands. Learn about the fascinating indigenous birds and wildlife that call the region home, such as blue footed boobies, giant tortoises, sea turtles, flightless cormorants, sea lions and iguanas, plus the failed attempts at human colonisation over the years, and enjoy nature treks, snorkelling, bird-watching and walks across lava fields. You can also take trips to visit the famous Pinnacle Rock, while no trip to these incredible islands would be complete without visiting the Charles Darwin Research Centre.