21 Galapagos Island Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit
Galapagos Islands are high on the list of the most beautiful and sought-after destinations in the world, and we believe this place does not need a long introduction. To inspire your wanderlust, and also maybe to convince you that you need to visit the Galapagos, we have selected 21 best photos from our recent trip.
We have a feeling there is no need to introduce Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.
We don't know a traveler who's never heard about the dreaming destination, about the famous archipelago, the magnificent place which inspired Charles Darwin to lay the foundations for his revolutionary evolution theory and the theory of natural selection.
The Galapagos Islands are unlike any other place on this planet, and we know that many travelers who plan on visiting the archipelago often do not know what to expect. Neither did we. Sure, we hoped the sea would be beautiful and beaches pristine, but nothing could prepare us beforehand for the interaction with animals on the islands.
Seeing the rare species and overall the evolution first hand was something invaluable and traveling to the Galapagos made us think differently about our planet.
We spent seven days cruising around the archipelago, visited a large number of the islands, saw an uncountable number of wildlife species, and took thousands of photos.
We've handpicked 21 best and most characteristic photos of the Galapagos to inspire your wanderlust. Traveling to the Galapagos Islands is truly once in a lifetime opportunity, and no words can do justice to the beauty we could have seen around the archipelago.
Hopefully, our photos will explain it better!
We can vividly remember the first time we saw sea lions on the Galapagos Islands.
It was right after we landed on San Cristobal island when we got to the pier. And there they were. It was like waking up in a fairytale.
We knew we should see sea lions on the Galapagos a lot, but we simply could not believe they are everywhere, lying on the rocks even on the busy town's pier. When we had free time in San Cristobal the first afternoon, we also remember how our guide told us to explore the town and not to take so many photos of the sea lions, because we gonna see them every day during the next week.
Guess what all of us did and where we met the rest of our group. A small hint: sea lions are so damn cute.
Usually, watching and photographing birds is not that exciting for us, because they are often too far from us, but again, the Galapagos Islands is exceptional when it comes to the wildlife watching.
Blue-footed boobies are one of the favorite bird species among travelers, not only it is incredible to see their blue feet in person up close, but during thousands of years they also developed a pretty unique style of hunting, so when lucky, it is worthwhile to see them in flight as well. The style is called dive bombing, and you need to see this with your own eyes and binocular to fully appreciate the fishing technique.
It is quite terrifying, actually.
The visit of the Galapagos Islands is a whole package, from the morning to the evening, there was always something interesting to see and do, and when we finally wanted to take a break on our boat's deck, we could see sunsets like this one.
During our seven-day cruise, it became a norm, that all passengers met around sunset time to watch the sky turn yellow, orange, and red.
We even asked the crew if it is possible to postpone dinner a bit so we won't miss a single sunset when cruising around the archipelago.
It cannot take you by surprise by now that sunrises on the Galapagos Islands are as beautiful as sunsets. No matter if you are traveling on a cruise or you travel independently, it is worth it to get up early and wait for the first sunlight.
Under normal circumstances, beaches on the Galapagos Islands would have been the reason number one why to travel there, but the Galapagos is not a typical destination. But if you'll have a moment between snorkeling, admiring the amazing landscape and looking for wildlife, try to slow down a bit and enjoy walking and relaxing on pristine sandy beaches.
It is yet another experience there is only one rule. You need to watch out for sea lions lazing around, especially for the big alpha males.
Completely motionless iguanas are another iconic animal species for the Galapagos.
They are so still and so photogenic that we could have stood there for hours, and watch the colonies of iguanas warming up on the sun. It is interesting that the marine iguanas can be found only on the Galapagos Islands - yet another reason to visit, and you don't need to be a biologist to fully appreciate the exceptionality of these unique lizards.
Galapagos Islands is a unique environment, and visitors must follow many strict rules. One of the rules is that everyone must walk only on well-designated paths no one can wander around freely.
The only exceptions are when you find mating albatrosses sitting right in the middle of the trail.
You probably cannot take a more cheesy photo in South America than a picture of flamingo's silhouettes reflecting in the lagoon.
Seeing flamingoes on the Galapagos Islands is always hit or miss, it depends on when you are traveling around the archipelago, so we were quite lucky to spot a colony of adults and chicks who don't have the typical reddish color yet.
One of the most iconic animals on the Galapagos Islands are giant turtles, officially named Galapagos giant tortoise.
Although tortoises don't have any natural predator, the number of turtles dropped significantly between the 16th century when the archipelago was discovered by Spaniards and 1970s, from 250 000 to only 3 000! The main reason was hunting for meat and oil and the introduction of non-native animals to the islands.
Nowadays, the goal of most of the programs is to increase the number of tortoises on the Galapagos.
We are so grateful we could see the giants both in the wild and sanctuaries.
Sometimes we found the most interesting moments without expecting them.
When we were walking from Charles Darwin Research Center, and though we saw enough highlights for today, by accident we stumbled across a local fish market. Fishermen just arrived from the sea, caught a lot of fish, local people came immediately to buy fresh meat, and birds flew around to steal what was left.
Pretty cool experience.
The Galapagos Islands are not only about the wildlife, but also the landscape is pretty unique.
The archipelago consists of volcanic islands and the volcanic activity and eruptions created a very photogenic scenery.
Only 400 steps we had to climb to get the most scenic and the most photographed place (landscape-wise) in the Galapagos Islands on Bartolome Island.
It is a volcanic island with harsh conditions, but the climb is well worth it as you can see how the slope of lava covered with vegetation slowly descends into the water with the Pinnacle Rock in the background.
Once in New Zealand, we saw a small penguin walking alone across a beach the same way like in cartoons for kids, and we thought we would never see anything that cute anymore.
Well, these Galapagos penguins surely deserve the shared first place.
What we loved the most about the Galapagos was how authentic some situations were, and that we must have ready our camera all the time.
Life and death
The cycle of life is unstoppable.
When exploring the islands, we could see blood on the ground, sometimes even a placenta before it was eaten by birds, so we knew the life for someone has just begun. We also saw dead sea lions or their skeletons on the beaches or broken eggs of chicks who will never make it. The Galapagos Islands are raw, true, and show its visitors the circle of life.
Everything has a meaning, and the death of one animal can mean life for another animal.
South Plazas is a small island, which is absolutely gorgeous.
Despite its small size, the island is home to a large number of animals such as different species of birds or land iguanas who coexist here in this harsh environment where the majority of flora consists of cacti trees and sesuvium plant which changes color depending on the season.
The contrast of cacti trees and red plants was so photogenic.
Frigate birds look pretty inconspicuous until the breeding season comes. During this time, males inflate a red throat sack to attract females.
And we can tell, not only females in our group were attracted by the sight.
Some animals on the Galapagos islands developed during thousands of years great camouflage strategies. They often can stand still, or their coloring is so perfect you cannot recognize them when hiding in their natural habitat.
But this crab has an absolutely opposite strategy.
His bright red color says to his enemies he is dangerous or poisonous, so he can fearlessly walk around.
Underwater life is as interesting as the life above water, so despite the fact, the ocean was freezing cold during our visit and we had to wear a wetsuit all the time, we couldn't wait to jump into the water and swim with sea lions, turtles, different species of fish and even sharks!
One of the most popular landmarks in the Galapagos archipelago is Lion's rock alias Kicker Rock towering out of the water.
Some people say it looks like a sleeping lion when viewing it from the south, some people say it looks like a boot.
Evidently, it depends on the point of view, either way, the rock is pretty exceptional.
We had always thought the wildlife is the only reason why to travel to the Galapagos Islands.
Well, we don't think it anymore.
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