The Galapagos Islands are one of the best places to visit in South America. With literally hundreds of things to do in the Galapagos Islands, it’s a destination suited for anyone interested in nature, animals, and pristine beaches. Learn about pirates, tectonic plates, Darwin’s theory of evolution, and swim with all sorts of sea creatures on a dreamy Galapagos Island adventure!
Take a Galapagos Cruise
Without a doubt, the number one thing to do in the Galapagos explores the different islands on a cruise. The best Galapagos cruise itinerary will include countless excursions and animal sightings — all with a touch of luxury.
A Galapagos cruise itinerary will allow you to see the remote islands not accessible by island-hopping. With each island having a diversity of species, different islands mean different wildlife sightings. Due to its unique biodiversity, the Galapagos Islands are part of the protected Galapagos National Park (GNP). As a UNESCO site, it is strictly regulated. A maximum of 1,660 people on boats and 180 on day cruises are allowed per day. Meaning, that at any given time you’ll practically have the Galapagos to yourself.
Stay at a Hotel and Island-hop
Not sure if a cruise is a right fit for you? Island-hopping excursions are a beach lover’s dream. Get the best of both worlds in the Galapagos by spending your days taking boat tours from your land-based hotel to nearby islands. Explore the biodiverse wonders of the archipelago. Then, spend your afternoons exploring your home island or relaxing on the gorgeous Galapagos beaches.
One of the number one things to do in the Galapagos Islands is to get into the clear water and see its biodiversity from a completely different angle! Loayza also recommended this as her number one activity in the Galapagos. “Snorkeling was my favorite activity by far — getting the opportunity to swim with seals and turtles is not something I’ll probably get the opportunity to do again and was so worthwhile. When you take a cruise there are multiple opportunities to do this in your itinerary, so opt-in as much as you can!”
Admire the Galapagos Islands Volcanoes
The Galapagos Islands are a series of volcanic islands located 620 miles or 1000 km from mainland Ecuador. This unique location lies where three ocean currents converge and tectonic plates meet.
One of the reasons why the Galapagos Islands are such a distinctive travel destination is their formation. How did the Galapagos Islands come into existence? Volcanoes! The shifting of tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions over years and years pushed the surface of these islands above the sea. This means that life on these islands is “new” in geological terms. Underneath the turquoise blue waters, volcanic activity alters the landscape of these islands constantly, meaning no two visits are ever the same.
See Giant Tortoises
The Galapagos tortoises are the largest living species of tortoise. These things are huge, weighing up to 920 lbs (417 kg) making them pretty incredible to see in real life! The word ‘Galapago’ comes from the famous turtles, as their shells look like a saddle.”
Your island hopping or cruise itinerary will include a stop at one of the many reserves or research centers (listed below) to see these giant reptiles. Though, it’s not uncommon for these big creatures to also cause some traffic delays as they cross (slowly) from one side of the street to the other.