The Galapagos Islands remain one of the world’s top Bucket List destinations for intrepid travellers, and for good reason. This remote volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is quite unlike anywhere else on earth, and if you dream of getting up close and personal with exotic wildlife that you simply will not find in other parts of the world, this is the place to do it.
Positioned approximately 1,000km from the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos archipelago is made up 13 major islands, 6 smaller islands and over 40 islets. Dotted above and below the equator, these magical islands are often described as ‘living museums’, and home a melting pot of marine species and bird life that have become so accustomed to travellers that they barely notice you are there.
Believed to have inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands are a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, but travellers are still welcome to visit, and there are some fabulous tours available for those who want to explore, kayak, snorkel, cycle and hike in some of most unusual yet pristine landscapes on our planet.
Here’s a sample of just one of the many Galapagos Itineraries available for active travellers in 2017…
Multisport Adventure in the Galapagos
Day 1: San Cristobal Island
Begin your adventure at the Galapagos Interpretation Center, where you will learn about the unique wildlife, geology, and history of the islands. From here, you will hike to Tijeretas along natural trails formed of lava rocks, where you will enjoy magnificent views of the rugged coastline and a wide array of endemic flora and fauna. After working up a sweat, you’ll be able to cool down at Carola Beach, where you can snorkel with the locals…sea turtles, sea lions and marine iguanas!
Day 2: San Cristobal Island
Today, you will have the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with the Galapagos wildlife. After a morning of kayaking in coves and coastal bays, you will head into the water with the sea lions to discover the countless reefs. If you’re lucky, you may even encounter a hammerhead shark… a menacing but harmless creature that can be found in these waters.
Day 3: Isabela Island
Today you will continue your journey to Isabela Island, which is a short plane ride from San Cristobal. The largest of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela has much to offer international travellers, as you will discover on your afternoon bike ride past mangrove forests, sandy coves, deep lagoons, and lava rocks. In the afternoon, you will explore Tintoreras, a collection of small islets where penguin and other marine life can be found.
Day 4: Isabela Island
After breakfast, you’ll drive to the Sierra Negra Volcano for a fabulous hiking trip. Offering incredible views and breathtaking landscapes, this is the highlight of any Galapagos adventure – don’t forget your camera!
Day 5: Santa Cruz
Time for more island hoping! Today you will travel by speedboat to Santa Cruz Island, where you will have the unique opportunity to view the giant tortoise in its natural habitat. Next, you will explore the lava tunnels, which once homed the pirates of the Galapagos, before hiking to the Los Gemelos volcanic sinkholes at the top of the island.
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island
With another full day to explore Santa Cruz, you’ll head back to the sea for a kayaking adventure quite unlike any other in the magical landscapes of Puna Estrada and Divine Bay. After lunch, you’ll have the opportunity to hike through the forest to Tortuga Bay, where many interesting bird and plant species can be found. Finally, you will visit he Charles Darwin Research Station where you will learn all about the ongoing conservation efforts on the islands.
Day 7: Departure
All good things must come to an end, and after a final breakfast in the Galapagos, you will transfer to Baltra Island for your return flight to the mainland.
Sound like the perfect Galapagos Adventure? Find out more!