"Sailing through Galapagos" Galápagos Islands by travelmad478
Galápagos Islands Travel Guide: 1,057 reviews and 4,380 photos
In October 2002, I went to the Galapagos Islands with my friends Vera and Janet. We spent 11 days sailing around the islands, on a trip organized by Galapagos Travel (www.galapagostravel.com). This trip was a truly unique experience. Although I've certainly been exposed to fantastic wildlife before, on African safaris, the Galapagos is something different. Almost all of the animals and birds that you see are virtually fearless--they're so unconcerned about humans that in many instances you have to literally step over them as you're walking down the trails. All of the photos on these pages were taken with a tiny point-and-shoot camera--many times, I actually had to back away from the animals to take photos, because I was so close that the camera wouldn't focus. Amazing! I've categorized some of my more successful photos in the travelogues on this page.
Our trip was spent aboard the yacht Sagitta (shown in the photo). It's a 100-foot motor sailer with space for about 18 passengers. There were 16 on our trip, plus two guides (a park ranger and a tour leader) and seven crew members. This boat, nice and small, was very comfortable, with plenty of common areas to relax in. Cabins have two bunk beds and en-suite baths, with hot showers--a must when you've just come in from a chilly snorkel!
The vast majority of the Galapagos Islands territory is maintained as a national park by Ecuador. The islands are an invaluable living laboratory for studying evolutionary processes--one of the most famous examples is the speciation of Galapagos finches. Charles Darwin visited Galapagos in 1835, and a good part of the development of his theories on evolution were inspired by these little birds. On our trip, we saw 12 out of the 13 finch species. Just don't ask me to tell any of them apart!
If you're going to Galapagos, it's almost certain that you will spend time in the water, either snorkeling or diving.... more travel advice
There are around 13 main islands in the Galapagos group, plus dozens of other small islands and rock formations. The... more travel advice
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