If Galapagos is on your travel bucket list, you should definitely keep your expectations quite high! With the cristal clear waters, never-ending beaches, and hiking trails, Galapagos islands will live up to them! If you start browsing online, you’ll hardly find any bad reviews on the Islands and the cruising experience.
This article will give you a virtual tour around the Galapagos Islands, and all that is left for you is to choose the best Galapagos cruise and hope on the trip of a lifetime! No matter if it’s your first time visiting, or you’ve already lost count, the Islands are something truly mesmerizing.
Galapagos Island Cruising
Galapagos Islands are volcanic islands, a total of 13, only 4 of which are completely inhabited. They are a part of Ecuador, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The best way to visit them and make the most out of your trip is by cruising. It might be more on the expensive side, ranging from 2000-3000 dollars for one-week cruising. There will be so much to see and do, that you’ll be exhausted by the end of each day. But, in the end, it will all be worth it, and you’ll have tons of pics and memories.
Best time to visit the Islands
The Galapagos Islands have two main seasons: a warm one and a cool season. The warm season starts around December and ends in May. It is followed by a rise in the temperatures, making it pretty comfortable to go swimming and diving without a wetsuit, sunbathing on the beach all day… but, it is also followed by frequent showers every day. That’s not so bad, as it will ease out the day and you’ll feel instant relief. Just make sure you hide from the rain.
The cool season starts in June and it ends in November. There is a slight drop in the temperatures, but nothing over the top. The temperatures rarely drop below 70’F, so it’s pretty cozy to walk around in your T-shirt. But, the cool season also brings the fog, also known as Garua, which can affect your visibility.
If you want to experience the best of both worlds, it’s best to visit either in May or in November. This is the so-called shoulder season, and if you visit during this period, you’ll be greeted by almost perfect weather, a calm ocean that won’t go harsh on you, and relatively few people, which will give you the opportunity to recharge your batteries and come back even better.
Things to do in Galapagos
There are tons of activities that you can do while visiting the Galapagos islands. The 4 inhabited islands have quite a number of locals, so you can experience their culture and tradition. Make sure you try their local food, hear the local music, and learn the ordinary way of life there.
In terms of fun activities, you can always go for a hike in the rain forests that Galapagos has. There are lots of trails, and along the way, you’ll see some amazing views, so make sure you snap a few photos. Amongst the rocks, you’ll see hidden caves but they’ll be too dark to go into, so just look at them from afar. Stick to your group and don’t go too deep into the rainforest by yourself. The Galapagos Islands are famous for their rich biodiversity and extraordinary ecosystem, all thanks to the density of the forest.
No matter if it’s the cold or the warm season, you’ll go into the ocean, so make sure you bring your wetsuit with you. It will make the water seem a bit warmer, and you’ll be able to stay under it longer. The Galapagos Island has some pretty unique underwater flora and fish species that you can rarely see elsewhere. If you’re into diving, then this will be the right destination for you.
Wildlife in Galapagos
Galapagos is characterized by the rich flora, but also by the rich wildlife. It’s one more reason to visit the Islands and see some endemic species that you can only find there. For example, the Galapagos penguin is used to people and it roams the Galapagos beaches freely, completely unfazed. Sea lions are also pretty common on the shore, but make sure you keep your distance and you don’t disturb any of the animals. Giant tortoises and iguanas can also be found on the islands, so make sure you have your camera ready to snap a pic whenever you see one.
Seeing the animals up close might just be one of the most exciting activities you’ll do on the island besides diving. But, your tour guide and the rules on the Island clearly state that you should stay at least 2 meters away from the wildlife, for them to remain calm and not feel threatened. Usually, they aren’t dangerous and they sunbathe and move calmly, but if they feel threatened, they might start acting upset.
The volcanoes are a crucial part of the islands. In fact, most of the big cities that are filled with locals lay directly on the borders of the biggest volcanoes on the islands. We’ve mentioned that there are a total of 13 major islands, but there are 21 volcanoes, 13 of which are considered active. That is why the government is tracking them and has a strict plan of evacuation in case of an eruption. Also, that is the main reason why the number of visitors per season is limited.
One of the biggest volcanoes is Cerro Azul, which is also the most active volcano of them all. Another big lava container is the Wolf Volcano, which was inactive for a full 33 years, until its last eruption in 2015. It seems pretty recent, but the last activity that was noticed happened in 2020. The volcanoes are considered calm for now, and tourists are free to visit the islands and see those spectacular views while feeling safe.