Thinking about visiting the Galapagos? My advice.... GO! Yea, it's a little pricey, but is that any reason not to experience all that life has to offer?
1. Nature: The Galapagos is its own nature reserve and it is teeming with life! Whether it be the numerous seals, iguanas and giant tortoises on land, or the marine igauanas, fish, seals, sharks and enormous turtles in the sea, there is no shortage of life. So you’re a bird watcher? There are plenty of bird species to keep you busy; think Albatross, Boobies, Firgates, “Darwin’s Finches” etc.
2. Beaches: No brainer. Crystal clear water and beautiful white sand beaches. If you happen to be on San Cristobal, check out Puerto Chino beach. Santa Cruz, Tortuga Bay (or many other beaches you can take day tours to), or if you venture to Isabella, the main beach you walk to is one of the nicest stretches of beaches I have ever seen.
3. Diving: Maybe this plays into “nature”, but whether you choose to dive or snorkel there are plenty of options. Kicker Rock which is known (when the water is warm) for having hammerhead sharks. Seymour Norte off Santa Cruz is good for seeing a diverse group of wildlife including eels, eagle rays, turtles, reef sharks and galapagos sharks. For advanced divers check out “Roca Gordon” or Gordon Rocks, beware the tide/current can make for a bit of a washing machine.
4. History: The Galapagos is a microcosm. The islands were initially discovery back in the 1500’s. In the 17th and 18th centuries they were a refuge for buccaneers and in the 19th century, whalers. The giant tortoises, seals, and whales were being exploited for their oils amongst other things. The islands also and most popularly served as a “research center” for Charles Darwin and his studies of evolution amongst the finch species.
5. Progression: Humans the greatest downfall of the Galapagos, from the whalers centuries ago all the way to modern tourists. Yet, at the same time humans are also the ones that are responsible for saving the islands. The national park is responsible for boosting the population of the Galapagos turtles, preserving the national park lands, and continually maintaining the standards for eco-tourism. As a plus, the Galapagos islands are trying to be 100% off grid by 2017.
If beaches, sun and wildlife aren't enough, then go for the mango or banana smoothies. If that does nothing for you, please stop reading this post now.
Travelers tip: bring sunscreen, a light colored / fabric long sleeve shirt and a good hat. If you are just making the trip there and back, bring your own mask and snorkel if you have it, its worth not going through the headache of leaking masks. Oh, sunscreen is $25 a bottle, so, yeah.