Why Travel To The Galapagos?
Anyone with a slight interest in biology and wildlife has heard of the Galapagos: a chain of 19 islands off the coast of Ecuador, home to a plethora of endemic creatures and plant life. You’ll hear the phrase ‘nowhere else on earth’ often here, and with good reason…
Seafaring iguanas, flightless cormorants, huge cacti, seals and penguins live curiously alongside each other in a dynamic climate that is semi-arid, yet sub-tropical. The archipelago, peaked by mountains and pitted by deep craters, remained a secret until the early 1800’s when Bishop Tomás de Berlanga’s ship drifted off course. After marvelling at the hundreds of giant tortoises (galápagos) surrounding him, he named the islands Las Encantadas (“The Enchanted”). And Enchanted they remain. Difficult to reach, the Galapagos Islands are a carefully monitored sanctuary visited by only a handful. This is the world’s foremost wildlife viewing destination, and a once in a lifetime experience for those lucky enough to travel to their lava encrusted shores.
Must Eat Dishes
- Encebollado: The Galapagos’ most famous dish – a think, fish based pickled onion soup (rumored to help your hangovers!).
- Ceviche: It’s seafood galore in the Galapagos, and trying a ceviche dish is a must.
- Seco: Various types of meat slow cooked in a delicious sauce and served with rice, avocado, and plantain.
- Snorkel with sea lions, turtles, loads of tropical fish, and more.
- Watch blue footed boobies and frigatebirds perform their mating dance.
- Visit Tortuga Bay, an endless white sand beach with a bay to kayak.
- Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz Island)
- Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal)
- Charles Darwin research station
Need to know
Solo Female Travel
Ecuador is often considered one of the best first countries to visit in South America for the friendly locals and safety factor while still experiencing that rich Ecuadorian culture. It’s generally easy to navigate for a solo female traveler. Practice a normal level of caution in Galapagos and be aware of your surroundings, but enjoy the easy going nature of this enthralling island paradise.