Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
Denis Korablev
  • 15.09.2021
  • 230

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

Located 980 km from mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands offer an excellent opportunity to experience the unique flora and fauna of the archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The islands are of volcanic origin and got their name from the water turtles living here (by the way, they are the largest in the world). Together with the surrounding waters, they form a marine reserve, in which Charles Darwin conducted his research in the 1930s.

It is best to visit the islands by personal or yacht chartered in Ecuador, using all the opportunities to explore the scenic landscapes and diverse fauna.

Weather

The climate on the islands is warm tropical, but because of the ocean currents it is much cooler than in other areas located in equatorial latitudes. The average annual air temperature is +24 ° C.

Due to the high solar activity on the islands, it is recommended to the use of sunscreen. The optimal period to visit the Galapagos Islands is from December to May, when the water temperature is pleasantly warm and the sea is calm.

Attractions

The islands of the Galapagos archipelago in the Pacific Ocean belong to Ecuador. Only 4 of the 13 islands are inhabited, with the most developed tourist and other infrastructure on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.

Yachting in this region can be combined with acquaintance with natural attractions. The journey will leave an unforgettable impression, because nature has preserved the most valuable specimens here, which have come down to us unchanged through the depths of centuries. It is in the Galapagos Islands that you can see such unusual animals as holothurians (sea cucumbers), penguins or humpback whales, just swimming in the turquoise waters or enjoying a vacation on white beaches.

San Cristobal Island

On the island of San Cristobal is the capital of the islands - the city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and the airport. In Puerto Baquerizo Moreno there is a Center for the Study of the Origin and Nature of the Islands. Also Worth Seeing: Swordfish Fountain, Statue of Charles Darwin, and visit to the San Cristobal Interpretation Center for history, geology and geography islands. The area around Punta Pitt has beaches well suited for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

Isabella Island

Isabella is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and is of great research interest. The numerous picturesque lagoons along the coast are home to dozens of bird species, and the coastal waters are home to sharks and killer whales. You can spot white sharks, as well as colorful iguanas and penguins in Urbina Bay (also home to the largest turtle colony), or head to the Sierra Negra Volcano to look at one of the largest craters in the world.

In the vicinity of Punta Morena, mangroves are striking with a variety of plants, and near Puerto Villamil you will find a excellent sandy beach. Also on the island of Isabella is the highest point of the archipelago - Wolf Volcano.

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island is the second largest tourist center in the city of Puerto Ayora, where the infrastructure is well established. Among the popular attractions of the island is the station. Charles Darwin, who studies endangered species of animals, a monument to a fisherman (Monumento al Pescador Galapagueño) near the fish market, a monument to a giant turtle (Monumento de la Tortuga) in the city center, a beautiful statue of a giant seagull near the pier ( Monumento de aves de Galápagos), a monument to Darwin (Monumento Darwin) and a bust of the famous naturalist (Busto de Charles Darwin) in Puerto Ayora. Today Puerto Ayora is the most popular tourist resort with well-equipped beaches, many restaurants and cafes.

The tourist attraction of the island is a giant lava tube over 2 km long. Also very interesting are the bays of the island, each of which has a unique flora and fauna.

Fernandina Island

Fernandina is the third largest island in the archipelago and is known for hosting the world's largest marine iguanas colony. Beautiful and interesting places are concentrated near the La Cumbre volcano, as well as the magnificent coral reef in the Urbina Bay. On the island, you can devote time to diving or walking through the tropical thickets.

Santa Maria Island

The island's main attraction is the partially submerged crater of an extinct volcano - a fantastic sight, and the coastal waters are good for diving. Killer whales and dolphins are found in the waters off Santa Maria Island, and both relatively small reef sharks and huge whale sharks can be found in Shark Bay.

Opportunities for active spending time

Throughout the islands, relatively modest areas are allocated for tourist areas, while tourists are required to follow strict rules for staying in a protected area. So, it is allowed to move only along specially marked trails, and visitors must be accompanied by guides assigned by the park service.

The best hiking trails are located on the islands of San Cristobal (Punta Pitt), Isabella (Pozas verde, Mirador los tunos, Poza Escondida and El Túnel del Estero near Puerto Villamil) and Genovesa (Darwin Trail). The island of San Cristobal has the best diving spots and there is also a beach where you can watch seals. Highland View Galapagos Farm is also worth a visit, with excellent views of Parque Nacional Galápagos, where you can enjoy traditional dishes made with fresh produce grown here.

Kitchen

Meat soups, meat, vegetable and seafood salads and typical vegetarian treats are very popular in the Galapagos Islands. The national menu is based on seafood. One of the most popular national treats is ceviche, made from seafood and fish marinated in lime juice and seasoned with pepper. Ceviche is usually served with a variety of vegetable side dishes and a large share of this dish is consumed by tourists.

Fried guinea pig is also a popular dish, which can be ordered only in the most prestigious restaurants. Meat lovers should try the caldo de pata soup made from fried veal hooves, seasoned with a sauce of white pepper and South American olive oil. Among the vegetarian dishes among tourists, the most popular are the striped pepinos cucumber, the mami fruits and the chirimoya fruits with a pleasant aroma - they taste like ice cream.

Note that very high-quality beer is produced on the islands, and in restaurants of national cuisine they also serve a lot of treats to the foamy drink. On a yacht, you can visit the most interesting places in the archipelago, taste traditional dishes and get to know the local culture.

If you are interested in buying or renting a yacht, we advise you to contact 2yachts. The company's specialists will help you choose a yacht to organize an unforgettable trip along a unique route!