"The Galapagos Islands" Galápagos Islands by bsfreeloader
Galápagos Islands Travel Guide: 1,003 reviews and 4,030 photos
The Galapagos Islands is one of the few travel destinations that not only lives up to, but exceeds, the hype it generates. If you can afford it, it is not to be missed. I was lucky enough to spend ten days on the islands in April of 2006 - two days on Santa Cruz and eight days touring the islands by boat. It may not have been a perfect holiday, but it was about as close as it gets. The cruise itinerary included stops at Baltra, North Seymour, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, and Bartolome. Volcanic in origin, each island is unique. Together, they offer an array of landscapes, habitats, and activities second to none. There are sun-drenched, soft, white sand beaches washed by azure and turquoise waters favored by humans and sea lions alike. There are rocky shores and seaside cliffs replete with blowholes, caves, grottoes, and attendant wildlife. There are geologically fascinating lava beds, pit craters, and lava tubes. There are mangrove lagoons best explored by kayak. There are arid landscapes with soaring cacti, and there are humid landscapes reminiscent of cloud forests. And, offshore, there is the world's second largest marine reserve with pristine waters and abundant marine life, making for remarkable snorkeling and diving. It is this marine life, as well as the on-shore fauna that steals the show. On land, there are dancing boobies, bill-rattling and bill-snapping albatross, sunbathing iguanas and sea lions, scurrying lava lizards, lethargic tortoises, and a host of other creatures all so tame that you must take great care not to step on them or invade their territories. In the water, there are curious and inquisitive sea lions, disinterested but graceful sea turtles, torpedo-like penguins, reclusive sharks and rays, more than 300 species of fish, and a host of other marine creatures. If you have any interest in the natural world, the Galapagos should be at or near the top of your list of places to visit.
Marine Iguanas generally pose no threat. The do, however, frequently discharge salt water from their noses, with a... more travel advice
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