The Galápagos Islands Travel, Ecuador (with Map & Photos)

Galápagos Islands - the main resorts and areas, excursions and attractions, museums, reviews of tourists about the Galápagos Islands.

Named after the species of water turtles that live here, the Galápagos Islands are located in the east of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, almost 1,000 km west of mainland Ecuador. The archipelago of volcanic origin (by the way, very recent by geological standards) consists of 13 large islands and 6 smaller islands, and let Wikipedia calculate a very trifle. We are interested in its main islands in terms of tourism, all as one - with the Caribbean-Spanish names that excite the traveler's imagination: Isabela, Santa Cruz, Fernandina, San Salvador, Santa Maria and Hispaniola.

The Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands

Isabela


Isabela (Albemarle) is the largest island in the archipelago. It is decorated with many picturesque lagoons, which are inhabited by flamingos, pelicans, frigates, hawks, cormorants and penguins, and the coastal waters are teeming with sharks, killer whales and other marine life.

Attractions: Urbina Bay, home to large colorful iguanas, penguins and the largest colony of giant turtles, Punta Morena impresses with a variety of flora in mangroves, Wolf Volcano - the highest point of the Galápagos Islands, Sierra Negra volcano - one of the largest craters in world (diameter 10 km.)

Santa cruz


Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) is the second largest and most populous island in the archipelago. It is here that the largest city in the Galapagos is located - Puerto Ayora, which is a tourist center with a well-developed infrastructure (which is a rarity in this region). Sightseeing: Research Station named after Charles Darwin (its most important task is to control the reproduction of turtles, of which there are 11 species on the island), twin craters located at one of the highest points of the island (unusual vegetation grows in the space between the craters and many rare species of birds live). In addition, the numerous bays of the island are interesting, each of which is unique in its own way.

Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands

Fernandina


Fernandina (Narborough) is the third largest island located in the westernmost part of the archipelago. Interesting places of the island are the volcano La Cumbre, Punta Espinosa (the world's largest colony of marine iguanas, as well as pelicans and flightless cormorants), Urbina Bay is famous for its beautiful coral reef, and Elizabeth Bay is home to penguins and pelicans.

San Salvador


San Salvador (Santiago, James) is a small island, the entire coastal zone of which is black rocks of volcanic origin. The island of San Cristobal (Chatham) is the capital of the archipelago Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and the airport. All the vegetation zones of the Galapagos are represented here - from the stunted desert to the luxurious pampas, in addition, this is the only island in the archipelago on which there is an uninterrupted source of fresh water (a lake in the crater of the El Junco volcano). The island is home to giant turtles, seals, gannets and frigate birds. And Punta Pitt has beaches perfect for snorkelling, diving or just swimming.

The Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands

Santa Maria


Santa Maria (Floreana, Charles) is an island located in the southern part of the archipelago. Its main attraction is the Devil's Crown, a crater of an extinct volcano divided into three prongs and partially submerged in water. The surroundings of the crater are ideal for diving. In addition, sperm whales, killer whales and dolphins are found in the coastal waters of the island, and in the Bay of Sharks, which washes the shores of the town of Punto Cormoran, both relatively harmless reef sharks and whales are found. In the white sands of the local beach from December to May, turtles lay their eggs, pink flamingos and a variety of aquatic and terrestrial birds also live here.

Hispaniola


Hispaniola (Hood) is a medium-sized island in the south of the archipelago. This is the only place in the world where wavy albatrosses nest. The local beaches are popular with sea lions, seals, iguanas and mockingbirds.

How to get there


From Quito, you can get to the Galápagos Islands by Aerolineas Galapagos flights with a landing in Guayaquil. The duration of the flight from Quito to Galapagos is 3 hours, from Guayaquil to Galapagos is 1.5 hours.

Weather in the Galápagos Islands


The weather in the Galápagos Islands is determined by the nature of the ocean currents and winds. Two main seasons can be distinguished: the rainy season (December-April) and the dry season (July-October). From December to June it is hottest, from July to November the temperature drops slightly. The average annual temperature is around + 24 ° C.

In the Galapagos, the level of solar radiation is very high: it is easy to get burned here in a matter of hours. Therefore, it is recommended to use sunscreens and hats, especially from December to April.

The Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands

Galapagos National Parks


Galapagos National Park is the first and largest park in Ecuador. The main inhabitants of this unique place are giant turtles, gannets, cormorants, albatrosses and sea iguanas.

Currently, about 90% of the territory of the archipelago is under protection, so tourists should follow strict rules for visiting. Firstly, you should only walk along permitted paths (in total there are 62 permitted sites and paths between them). Secondly, all visitors must be accompanied by a guide from the park service. It is also forbidden to perform any actions that may harm wildlife, ranging from loud noises to making fires.

The Galápagos Islands Map