The Galapagos Islands is a zoologist’s dream and truly a great opportunity to see the animals found nowhere else on the planet. When you enter the place, you are confronted by giant tortoises, lava lizards, and frigates swooping overhead.
Did You Know?
Limited tourism began in 1959 after the Ecuadoran government declared the islands a national park. Now six decades later, the Galapagos copes with 170,000 visitors every year. The balance that exists here can hardly be overstated. Moreover, ecologists are concerned that the increasing number of tourists will prove destructive to the environment. Moreover, introducing animals, like cats, dogs, pigs, and rats, will interrupt the Island’s natural food chain. Although over 250,000 tortoises once roamed the islands, only 15,000 are left today. The Charles Darwin Research Station, located in Santa Cruz, is working hard to conserve the fragile ecosystem in the Galapagos Islands.
Sights to See
There are many sights to see once you are in the Galapagos Islands. Here are the top ten places you should visit during your stay:
- Bahia Tortuga
- Charles Darwin Research Station
- National Park Tortoise Reserve
- Santa Rosa
- Santo Tomas
- Volcan Alcedo
- Volcan Sierra Negra
- Puerto Villamil
- Rancho Primicias
There are several hotels in the Galapagos Islands. So, here are the top hotels in the area:
1. Finch Bay EcoHotel
This luxury hotel consists of 21 rooms and 6 suites. The hotel offers a buffet breakfast. Moreover, you can enjoy several activities here, like snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking.
2. Hotel Galapagos
Hotel Galapagos is a casual hotel, close to the Darwin Research Station. It consists of 14 rooms in total. On the waterfront, it also overlooks the cruise ships in Puerto Ayora. Here, you can enjoy both international and local dishes.
3. Royal Palm Hotel
Royal Palm Hotel is the only five-star luxury hotel present on the Islands. It features 10 villas, 4 rooms, and 3 suites. Here, you can also enjoy activities, like horseback riding, snorkeling, diving, hiking, sea kayaking, birding, and windsurfing.
4. Monica Hotel Canabas
This hotel consists of 21 rooms in total and offers the nicest lodging on the Island. The outside is made of stone and stucco. However, the interior consists of pastel-color rooms, some with refrigerators. Moreover, the lobby coffee shop is a great place to relax.
There are many restaurants, where you can dine on the Galapagos Islands. To enjoy Italian cuisine, you should visit La Dolce Italia. The restaurant serves amazing Sicilian and southern Italian cuisine. Moreover, the signature dish that you should try here is the seafood fettuccine with mushrooms and cognac sauce.
You can also visit the La Garrapata restaurant. The pioneer families of the Galapagos own this place. The menu consists of mostly seafood, but also includes a few chicken and pasta dishes.
If you have a craving for lobster, you should dine at La Tolda Azul. The restaurant offers an amazing selection of lobster dishes served in large portions. You should also try the grilled steaks from the menu.
Animals to See
Where ever you go to Galapagos Islands, you will see wildlife. Moreover, there are around 60 visitor sites approved in the area, and where you go will influence what wildlife you will see. So, here is the list of the must-see animals during your visit:
- Galapagos Penguin – These amazing creatures are found mainly around the westernmost islands. They can be seen in several places but breed only in Isabela and Fernandina.
- Flightless cormorant – Like the penguins, these creatures breed only on Fernandina and Isabela.
- Galapagos Giant Tortoise – The best place to see them is in the Santa Cruz highlights and on Alcedo Volcano. Moreover, San Cristobal and Pinzon also have tortoises.
- Magnificent Frigatebird – These birds are present everywhere and are a familiar sight from early in the trip.
- Land Iguana – Galapagos Land Iguanas are present on the central and western islands.
- Marine Iguana – You can’t miss one of these. There are up to 300,000 marine iguanas present across the Islands.
- Galapagos Sea Lion – These creatures are easy to find in the area. The best place to see them in calm water is Santa Fe.
Galapagos Islands is probably, the most famous wildlife-watching destination in the world. It has amazing food, lodgings, and wildlife. Therefore, It’s impossible to miss the sheer spectacle of the place. So, if you want to visit a place with amazing food and unique wildlife, you should choose the Galapagos Islands. For more information, visit the Metro Journeys website.