6 Reasons Why Galapagos Islands Should be on Your Travel Bucket List

An iguana on top of a rock with a large bird out of focus in the background
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The Galapagos Islands are a unique bond between man and nature. Only in this archipelago you can walk with giant tortoises and swim with sea lions. A visit to Galapagos is a wonderful experience of natural landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. Whether you are looking for a quiet afternoon on a white, sandy beach, or an active exploration, you can choose which islands to visit as there are different activities on all of them.

So, the main question imposes, why you should visit Galapagos? If you haven’t found the answer yet, we’d advise you to check these top reasons why you should write the name of the Galapagos on top of your travel bucket list. Also, make sure to read this how to get to the Galapagos post.

Experience Galapagos Islands Through Darwin’s Eyes

The Galapagos Islands were accidentally discovered in 1525 and were made famous by the book of Charles Darwin, “The Beagle” in 1839. He discussed the theory of evolution and the origin of species based on his observations and research on these islands.

During his adventures, he noticed some genetic similarities between species across various ecosystems. So, he conceived the theory of evolution. If we look through his eyes, we’ll see unique animals like tortoises who have their shells shaped differently, the Komodo Dragon which is one of the most famous lizards and direct closest descendant to dinosaurs, etc.

Trips to Galapagos Islands allow you to see the 14 species of birds that are known as “Darwin’s finches” where each of them has different feeding behaviour.

An iguana on top of a rock with a large bird out of focus in the background

Breathtaking Views

From the beautiful sunsets on Kicker Rock to the stunning beach in Gardner Bay, Galapagos is rich in iconic landscapes and sceneries. It’s one of the most famous destinations for Instagram influencers, while Bartolome and Santiago Islands host the most panoramic views.

The Sullivan Bay of Santiago Island was named after Darwin’s friend, who was a lieutenant on the trip to Galapagos. Santiago is one of the youngest islands and the most beautiful due to its dramatic green rocks, with a variety of shapes. Pinnacle Rock is one of the main landmarks of the archipelago.

Rabida Island is the home of Red Sand Beach. It is a deep red beach on the shoreline with high amounts of iron. Santa Cruz has Tortuga Bay . This is one of the most visited islands due to the white, sandy beaches and pristine waters. Water sports like surfing, swimming, and snorkeling are high in demand all year round.

Floreana Island is famous for its coral sand, green sea turtles, pink flamingos, and stingrays. Fun fact, some of the world’s best beaches are on Galapagos Islands.

Take the opportunity to read our article about the Salkantay Trek in Peru as well!

The Surrounding Highlands

While visiting Galapagos, you can hop to the Andes or the surrounding highlands on the way. Organizing a trip to Galapagos can include a couple more days dedicated to the majestic Ecuador highlands, rolling hills, lagoons, and scenic views.

You can visit the town of Otavalo which is at the base of a volcano, enjoy a natural hot spring in Papallacta or admire the Chimborazo volcano in Riobamba. For hikers, there’s a great opportunity to hit the road in Quilotoa which has a hiking trail around a crater.

A view from the side of a boar in water at sunset

Different Exploring Routes

To fully intricate the beauty of the Galapagos, one must visit it appropriately. Each of the islands offers different opportunities for exploration. If you plan to see all there is to see, the best option would be to choose a cruising trip. However, if you’d like to enjoy more the land activities, meet with the locals, and learn more about their culture, a land-based tour would be perfect.

Since there are a lot of options to visit the Galapagos, cruise-based tours are among the most trending traveling options. Galapagos has 97% of its archipelago as part of the Galapagos National Park. So, you will need a licensed tour and accompanying guide to get you through the activities.

Land-based tours provide for a calmer and more relaxing trip. It is possible to explore the island on your own. Organize your itinerary and take a day or two to stroll the coastline. Some excursions can take you to the uninhabited islands so you can have a day trip to a remote location.

Swim With Sea Lions

What’s more exciting than swimming with one of the most popular species in the Galapagos? You will see sea lions everywhere – literally. These unique creatures might seem a bit clumsy on the ground, but once they get in the water, they are pretty athletic. You can follow their swimming dance and film them.

A Unique Opportunity!

Last, but not least, Galapagos is unlike any other travel experience. If you are interested in evolutionary science, history or Charles Darwin’s theories, you can spend your trip exploring everything Galapagos has to offer.