There is no doubt that the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are a heaven on earth. It is not just another tropical island near the equator that helps you escape the cold winter; in fact, Galapagos are not even close to that. More than 200,000 travelers visit Galapagos each year to admire their uniqueness in terms of landscape and variety of species. However, this number is strictly controlled, so even in high season there are no big crowds.
A place of unique beauty
This UNESCO world heritage site consists of 13 main islands, around 1000 kilometers away from the mainland Ecuador.
The volcanic activity on those islands has endowed them with an extraordinary moon-like landscape; volcanic mountains, rugged cliffs and arid land can be seen all around. Any natural landscape lover will not be disappointed from the views, no matter which islands they will choose to visit.
Most of the natural habitat has remained untouched partly due to the late arrival of humans in the 1800s and the restricted access before aviation became popular and affordable. Today more than 97% of the Galapagos archipelago is preserved as a national park. You will not encounter major all inclusive resorts or loud night clubs, as it happens in many touristic islands. On the contrary, here is your paradise if you seek peace and quiet.
Secluded and remote white sand beaches can be found around, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy the warmth of the sun all year round or take a dip in the turquoise waters. There are a lot of beach related activities like snorkeling and kayaking.
A place of unique biodiversity
Apart from the natural beauty, this volcanic nature of the area, along with the isolation of those islands from the mainland, plus the three different ocean currents that converge there led to the development of unique species. Galapagos hold the title of a place with mythical biodiversity, as many creatures calling those islands home can be found nowhere else on earth. It is not a surprise that Charles Darwin was inspired from the fauna abundance to develop his theory of evolution by natural selection.
Many giant tortoise species are native to the Galapagos and they evolved million years ago from a common ancestor with the tortoises we are used to.
Birdwatching is a popular activity, even for travelers that were not keen bird watchers before. More than 750,000 seabirds reside there, together with populations of 29 resident species of land birds.
The most northerly appearing penguins in the world can be found at Galapagos. Some of them are even living in the northern hemisphere, a phenomenon that is happening nowhere else, as penguins normally live close to Antarctica.
When it comes to animal observation, you have the opportunity to get really close to them in their natural habitat. This happens because those species have not developed fear for humans, due to lack of predators in the previous centuries.
Travel to Galapagos
One of the most popular questions on Google when it comes to the Galapagos islands is the cost. It is true that in general, it can be a pricey destination, and it needs a lot of careful planning to remain within budget. There are no direct international flights and any visitor can fly via Quito or Guayaquil in mainland Ecuador, which results in low competition. Even after you reach the Galapagos, it is difficult to navigate independently, and there is the point where a traveler starts feeling discouraged. The solution can be found by choosing a tour that will help you explore as much as possible, by offering you comfortable transportation options and optimize the animal observation related activities, taking into account the animal’s behavior.
If cost still worries you, it is time to have a look at the affordable Galapagos tours from Happy Gringo. There are plenty of options to choose from, so no matter your traveling style, you will definitely find the perfect match. From cruises to land tours, from adventurous activities to more static animal observation, Happy Gringo has it all. As they come at a competitive price, it is possible that you can afford to combine more than one tours in one go without the stress that detailed planning comes with. It is going to be a trip of a lifetime without doubt!