Several miles west off the coast of Ecuador, in the Pacific Ocean, lies a group of islands that has redefined our outlook on the world today. The Galapagos are where Charles Darwin found inspiration for his ground-breaking book “The Origin of Species”. Upon arrival, he discovered a vast abundance of wildlife unlike anything else previously seen on earth.
Over 150 years have passed since Darwin’s visit and today these volcanic islands of lava fields, cactus forests, mangrove lagoons and tranquil waters form one of the most fragile, yet amazing places on earth. There are 13 islands to explore, each featuring a diverse range of native species.
Bartolomé is one of the most photographed islands, perhaps because of the fascinating geological landscapes and Galápagos penguins. It is possible to not only experience these penguins up close but swim with them alongside sea lions, turtles and white-tipped reef sharks.
Española is one of the oldest islands and is isolated from the rest of the archipelago. Due to its location and geological features, it has become the preferred breeding ground for most of the world’s waved albatross. It is also home to marine iguanas, which change colour to attract mates during breeding season.
Rabida is a world of colour, with red sands and red cliffs dominated by a range of species such as pelicans, white-cheeked pintails, boobies and pink flamingos. Whichever of the Galapagos Islands you decide to visit; you are sure to be completely astounded by your surroundings.