"Places and faces of the Galapagos" Top 5 Page for this destination Galápagos Islands by Quero
Galápagos Islands Travel Guide: 1,001 reviews and 4,014 photos
The Galapagos is an archipelago situated 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. It's not the sort of place that you just "discover" without expecting to--it takes time, effort and a decent budget. But it is worth every second, every frustration, and every penny.
I encountered animals so unafraid of people that I sometimes had to step over them to follow the trails mapped out on the islands. They would look me in the eye, seeming to challenge me to understand their place in the world, my place in the world, and the relationship between the two.
I found myself among sandy beaches, stony beaches, rocky shores, soaring cliffs, crater lakes, lava fields, submerged calderas, crashing waves, placid lagoons, sunsets and moonrises, and a microcosm of Earth in perpetual reinvention.
These names represent some of the violent forces and harsh conditions that have formed the islands and continue to make them what they are.
The Galapagos archipelago sits right on the Equator. You would expect it to be tropical like Hawaii or Bali, but in fact there is little rain, so the land is dry, and hardy plants like the prickly pear cactus trees are found all over. Moreover, during the winter months--the "garua" season--it's not even all that warm here, not what you would expect of an equatorial climate. Visitors are often taken by surprise and are unprepared for the cool nights and mild, overcast days.
The Humbolt and Cromwell ocean currents both bring cold water to the archipelago, making it an attractive place for certain cold-water animals such as penguins, and also for ocean going animals like schooling hammerhead sharks.
The Nazca plate, on which the archipelago rides, has a hotspot which has been creating the islands for at least 4 million years. The hotspot is still forming new parts of the archipelago, and the volcanos of the Galapagos are considered to be among the most active in the world. The pahoehoe lava fields of the most recent flows present eerie landscapes and biozones still in development.
No visit to the Galapagos is really complete without getting into the water to see the amazing diversity of life, including the endemic species the islands are home to. No visitor to the islands who has swum with sea lions or penguins ever forgets the experience.
Getting wet in the Galapagos is not for the faint of heart! The water is cold, and even snorkelers wear neoporene wetsuits. There are significant currents and surges, and at certain (though by no means all) sites, underwater photographers need to anchor themselves down with special hooks in order to have at least one hand free to shoot a picture.
The rewards are great, however. Any potential visitor to the Galapagos would be well-advised to get a fair amount of practice in snorkeling or diving before going to the islands, so that they are ready for this exciting aspect of the Galapagos.
Don't worry about taking any kind of cash to the Galapagos other than US dollars. That's the official currency. Bring... more travel advice
I don't know if it was because the skies were nearly always overcast or if it was because I was mellow after a day of... more travel advice
- Nothing fancy, Everything comfortable
- Put the lead on and roll in
- See All That's a bunch of bull!
- See All Black Turtle Cove, Baltra Island
- See All If you like gold and silver: part 2
Quero's Related Pages
Galápagos Islands Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Galapagos Islands"
- "Places and faces of the Galapagos"
- "Independently Galapagos"
- "A world apart"
- "The Enchanted Islands"
- See All...
- Things to Do in Galápagos Islands
- Hotels in Galápagos Islands
- Transportation in Galápagos Islands
- Nightlife in Galápagos Islands
- Restaurants in Galápagos Islands
- Shopping in Galápagos Islands
- Warnings and Dangers in Galápagos Islands
- See All...
Explore the World
Badges & Stats in Galápagos Islands
- 59 Reviews
- 61 Photos
- 0 Forum posts
- 0 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (10)
Have you been to Galápagos Islands?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in Galápagos Islands
- Posted in Travel Phuket Forum "Re: First Visit to Thailand and..."
- Commented on one of roamer61's Galápagos Islands travel pages
- updated a Galápagos Islands Travel Page "Places and faces of the Galapagos"
- Wrote a Review The local currency? The "greenback" in Galápagos Islands Local Customs
- Uploaded a Photo to "The sunsets"
Photos in Galápagos IslandsSee All Photos (61)
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Galápagos Islands Intro, 59 reviews, 61 photos
- Top 5 Page for this destination Ilha de Fernando de Noronha Intro, 25 reviews, 35 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Isla Cozumel Intro, 25 reviews, 28 photos
- Kuala Lumpur Intro, 14 reviews, 36 photos, 3 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Kangaroo Island Intro, 22 reviews, 25 photos
- Sydney Intro, 20 reviews, 23 photos
- Dubai Intro, 19 reviews, 22 photos
- Dubai Intro, 19 reviews, 22 photos
- State of Queensland Intro, 18 reviews, 21 photos
- Mexico City Intro, 15 reviews, 16 photos