TRAVEL TO THE MOST SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD
The remote Galápagos Islands tops many people’s bucket list. The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It's considered one of the world's foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing.
It might not seem like it to everyone, but the Galapagos Islands are actually quite big. The archipelago is home to a grand total of 21 major islands, 14 of which are open to visitors. Due to its volcanic nature, the Galapagos Islands are also in a constant state of expansion, meaning new islands may very well be forming as you read this!
The Galápagos Islands served as the site of Charles Darwin's famous flora and fauna observations and the inspiration behind his groundbreaking "On the Origin of Species," so it's hardly surprising that the islands are considered one of the world's best spots for bird-watching. In fact, the region is home to 45 types of birds you won't see anywhere else in the world, unique species like waved albatrosses and blue- and red-footed boobies.
When To Go
Best Times to Visit Galapagos Islands. The best time to visit the Galápagos Islands is from December to May.
How Many Days
The vast majority of travelers go to the Galapagos for 7 or 8 days.
How To Get There
Your best bet for getting to the Galapagos is to fly into Baltra Island before taking a bus and ferry ride to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the most popular tourist hub. Another option is to fly into the capital of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island, but most cruises start in Santa Cruz
Which Island is the most popular Santa Cruz is a popular island, especially because of tortoises and sinkholes. You can see giant tortoises in the wild, but also do no forget to pay a visit to Charles Darwin Research Center. Santa Cruz Island also has a fish market which is worth visiting when fishermen come back from the sea.
Things To Do
You will need to build a selective itinerary. Wildlife-watchers will want to venture to the small town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island to tour the Charles Darwin Research Station before continuing southwest to Santa Cruz's Tortuga Bay.
Hikers will take pleasure in exploring Sierra Negra, Isabela Island's active volcano, Aaquatic enthusiasts will enjoy sharing the waters with exuberant tropical fish during a snorkeling or diving excursion.
Isla Española or 'Hood Island' is where you will see the mating rituals of the albatross. When you approach by boat you will see hundreds of albatrosses standing along the cliffs, watching and waiting. San Cristobal Harbour with its bright pastel-painted, corrugated-iron-roofed houses, sea lions lie sunbathing on their backs, with flippers neatly folded over their chests and pelicans swoop low over the water, scooping up beakfuls of squirming fish.
Where To Stay
Almost everyone who comes here joins a cruise. It's the only way to see the islands. Most visitors stay on luxury yachts such as the Parranda. This 38-metre motor cruiser built for a US industrialist in the 1960s has proper wooden decks, air-conditioning, eight cabins, this yacht provides relaxing comfort between island-hopping
Many properties such as the Pikaia Lodge – are going all out to protect this fragile environment. Pikaia Lodge is a carbon-neutral hotel imade with steel, chosen due to the ease with which it can be recycled. The walls are covered with lava stone collected from areas approved by the Galápagos National Park Service and the doors and furniture are made from sustainable teak. The hotel has its own reforestation programme (10,000 endemic trees have been planted so far), and water comes from rooftop rain harvesting systems.
The majority of tour operators here come with environmentally-conscious credentials, but be sure to do your research before booking and, where possible, travel in a small group so as to have as little impact on the wildlife and natural environment as possible.