The Galapagos Islands are a collection of 19 islands that are situated almost six hundred miles from mainland South America. They are part of Ecuador, which is situated to the west of the Islands. The Galapagos Islands are particularly renowned for its rich variety of wildlife and plants, and the Islands have been a World Heritage Site since 1978. The area is also a whale sanctuary, marine reserve, and biosphere reserve. To make the whole Galapagos Islands experience a relaxing one it’s wise to cover every eventuality, and to ensure that you have taken out single trip insurance before you go on your trip.
Galapagos National Park
Some 97% of the land area of the Galapagos have national park status, and the area was established as a national park in the late 1950s. Visitors are invited to take photos of the local flora and fauna, but are also expected to respect the environment. Some of the most iconic of the species found on the Galapagos Islands include giant tortoises and different types of iguana. Camping is allowed on the site, as long as you have acquired the necessary permit from the Galapagos National Park Director.
Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz Island
South-west of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, Tortuga Bay offers visitors a free opportunity to observe some of the most celebrated wildlife on the Galapagos Islands. Though a fairly long walk to the beach, it’ll be worthwhile for anyone who wants to see the variety of wildlife that the Galapagos has to offer. There is an option to hire a kayak, too, to see turtles, sharks and rays in the water, while, on the beach, you can see marine iguanas, pelicans, flamingos, and red crabs.
Charles Darwin Research Centre
British naturalist Charles Darwin discovered the Galapagos Islands in 1835. On Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Darwin’s significant impact in bringing the Galapagos Islands to the world’s attention is recognised by his name being given to this research centre. The tortoise breeding centre is probably the most notable aspect of the research centre, and there are a variety of tortoises to see here. Visitors can also walk among these endearing creatures and take photographs. Available at the Centre too is information on the Galapagos Islands environment generally.
Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and it has one of the most curious landscapes of any tropical island. Consisting of six volcanoes, the wildlife here is particularly stunning, and includes Darwin’s finches, cormorants, penguins, and marine iguanas. Isabela Island also boasts a tortoise breeding centre, a white beach and lagoons.