BEST ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO IN GALAPAGOS ISLAND ... !!! - THE BACKPACKING

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

BEST ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO IN GALAPAGOS ISLAND ... !!!




There are many places in the world to see wildlife. But only one where that wild fauna does not flee from the human being, the Galapagos Islands. The strangest and most unique archipelago in the world. A true trip to prehistory. and you can lie down to sunbathe next to a 200 kilos sea lion of weight without being immuted, you can pass an iguana over your foot while taking photos of the landscape, so take note and think if this could be an option To go on vacation...


Entry Requirements

97% of the surface of the islands is declared a national park and has strict rules of use. The park address establishes the maximum number of groups that can be at the same time in each of the 70 places authorized for visits. That is, you cannot move freely; You always have to go with an official guide. However, around the inhabited nuclei of the four main islands there are what are called recreational places - such as Tortuga Bay, on the island of San Cruz, or the Chico volcano, in the Isabela - which you can go for free, but noting your name in the corresponding ranger offices. The maximum number of visitors that admit the islands are 110,000 per year (although this figure always goes up to 200,000).

How to book

You contact the hotel or boat of your choice and reserve your place for the desired dates. Then you pre-register on this website, detailing the dates and where you are going to stay. In a period of time you receive an email authorizing you to enter the Galapagos.

Fees

At the Guayaquil airport you have to fill in the TCT (Traffic Control Card) that costs $ 10. And when you arrive to Galapagos you have to pay an entrance fee of $ 100.

How to get

You have to get to Guayaquil, on the Ecuadorian continental coast, and from there take a national flight to Galapagos. There are three airports on the islands: San Cristóbal, Baltra and Isabela. LAN Airlines offers daily flights from Guayaquil to Baltra and San Cristobal from 335 euros, round trip.

How to move

There are only two ways to explore Galapagos. From land, staying in a hotel on one of the four inhabited islands, and from there move around the island itself or to others with a local travel agency (remember that it is forbidden to move inside the national park without official guides). Or on a boat that makes life-type tours on board. This second option is not the cheapest but it is the most practical and the one that allows you to see more places in less time, especially the most remote and uninhabited islands.

I traveled in La Pinta, one of the three ships of the Metropolitan Touring company, which organizes departures through Galapagos from 3 to 15 days, with everything included except drinks.

Best time

There are two recommended: May and June, a transition period between the two seasons in which the breeding season for marine life begins. And November-December, coinciding with the time of courtship of seabirds and when, thanks to the shock of currents, there is more food in the ocean and therefore more marine activity.

THE MOST RECOMMENDED ISLANDS:
  • Isabela: it is the largest island and the most breathtaking landscape. The most suitable also as a base for those who are going to do island hoping (jumps from one island to another with accommodation on land). Isabela is a very young island that still shows the shield volcanoes (Hawaiian type) with its volcanic buildings intact. The most spectacular landscapes are on the west coast, in the Bolívar Canal. In it lives the only non-flying cormorant in the world, capable of diving up to 80 meters deep but unable to trace the flight. The largest penguin community in Galapagos also lives here. Tourist accommodation and services (agencies, dive centers, etc.) are in Puerto Villamil. It has 7 kilometers of white sand beaches repopulated with palm trees.

  • Floreana: a good island for those who want to practice diving and snorkeling. It has beautiful volcanic landscapes on the summit and a lagoon with a colony of flamingos. Quiet and peaceful life: there are barely 200 people and there are only three or four accommodations on the island.

  • San Cristóbal: In it is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the islands, which is a city a little more authentic and relaxed than Puerto Ayora. In it there are all kinds of accommodations and services. On the outskirts of the town a very modern and well-equipped interpretation center was built that is worth visiting to learn more about the archipelago. There begins a well-paved path that goes up to the viewpoint of Cerro Tijerita and then reaches Baquerizo beach, the bay where HMS Beagle first landed and where Darwin first stood in the Galapagos. A statue remembers this fact. Other areas of interest are Punta Pitt, the eastern tip of the island and the entire archipelago, with a beach frequented by single sea lion males and a path that goes up to a nest of red-footed boobies; It is a good place to snorkel with wolves.

  • Española: it is the southernmost island and an essential visit on every trip through Galapagos. It is uninhabited so you have to go on a life boat on board or hire an excursion from San Cristóbal. Being the southernmost one, it is the first that receives the Humboldt current, which makes it very rich in plankton and food. That is why it has large colonies of seabirds: boobies of various types, cormorants, frigates, seagulls ... It is full of marine iguanas, which nest indolent in the middle of the berth, regardless of whether you pass inches from them, or in the black rocks volcanic of the coast. It is the typical photo of the Galapagos Islands. A path authorized by the park allows you to travel a good part of the island.

  • Santa Cruz: Baltra airport, built on a neighboring islet, is one of the ones that receives the most flights, so Santa Cruz is a must see for many travelers. It is not the most spectacular island, but it does have some places of interest. For example, the captive giant galapagos breeding center next to the Charles Darwin Research Station, just outside Punta Ayora. It is one of the three (the others are in Isabel and San Cristóbal) that have allowed the recovery of 10 of the 14 species of turtles that were on the islands before the indiscriminate slaughter of the nineteenth century almost ended them. Here lived the legendary George Solitaire (the last turtle specimen of the Pinta Island, who died in 2012 without leaving offspring) and here lives Diego, the longest-known giant tortoise that is known right now and that allowed to recover the species of the Spanish island (You can see Diego's story in this other post).

  • Bartolomé: it is not inhabited by what you have to arrive by boat. It has wonderful and unaltered volcanic landscapes and a path enabled by the park to see wildlife and craters of volcanoes. But what has made the island famous is a postcard, another one of those iconic images of Galapagos: the Pinnacle, remains of an old eruptive cone that emerges pointedly along its coast. An image that we have seen in countless reports and in some films (among them, in Master and Commander). The bath and snorkel are authorized in the Pinnacle Creek, where there is the possibility of seeing wolves and penguins.

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