Galapagos Islands

by Kshaunish Jaini

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is a bucket list destination for those who have not visited and a memorable experience for those that have. The islands provided inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection and is now known as a double World Heritage site as both the land and sea are protected. The islands are not a typical beach destination. They are for those that seek incredible encounters with friendly wildlife, unique species and spectacular geology. Due to little human presence on the islands, the wildlife do not feel threatened by visitors. As a result, you can get close and personal with its sea lions, giant tortoises, iguanas and many more. Its volcanic geology and rich flora and fauna is also a wonder for visitors. With good weather all year round, visitors can enjoy these islands at any time of the year. You can read these books to get excellent insights into what makes these islands so great.

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

When to go - Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands generally have pleasant weather all year round but there are two seasons. The hot, rainy season lasts from January through to June. At this time, there are short bursts of rain but for the majority of the day there is sunshine. The ocean reaches temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a more appealing time to swim and snorkel. Another benefit of this season is that the ocean is much calmer which helps those who suffer from seasickness when embarking on a Galapagos cruise. In regards to wildlife, during the rainy season green turtles begin laying their eggs, giant tortoise eggs begin to hatch, humpback whales and waved albatross begin to arrive and marine iguanas begin nesting.

Iguana on the beach in the Galapagos islands

Iguana on the beach in the Galapagos islands. Photo Credit

The cooler, drier season is from July through to December. During this season, the Humboldt Current causes the ocean to become choppy but also cooler, thus attracting more marine life. Consequently, this is the best season for those that enjoy snorkelling and diving. Divers have even been able to spot hammerhead sharks and whale sharks at this time. A downside of this season are the rough waters which will cause more discomfort for visitors that suffer from seasickness. In regards to the wildlife, during the cool season the Galapagos penguins and sea lions are most active; sea lion pups are even known to play aqua-aerobics with snorkellers. It's also breeding season for sea birds so visitors could see the blue-footed booby mating dance or the flightless cormorants perform their courtship ritual.

The peak season is from December to January and from June to August. During these months you will need to book your trip several months in advance before the Galapagos cruises become fully booked. Read more about the best time to go to the Galapagos islands here .

Where to go - Galapagos Cruise

The Galapagos Islands consist of 19 islands in total, each with unique characteristics. All licensed cruises in the Galapagos must follow a 15-day route approved by Galapagos National Park. This ensures that they will not visit the same site twice during the 15 day period. Consequently, visitors should understand what they will see on each island in order to choose a suitable itinerary. Below are the popular Galapagos Islands:

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