Are you looking for a new vacation destination? Do you want to experience something that you’ll never forget? Why not try the Galapagos Islands?
In 2017, the Galapagos Islands welcomed more than 241,000 tourists from around the world. That’s nearly a 40% increase from 2007.
But these numbers should not be enough to impress. You still have that question in your mind: “What are the things to do in the Galapagos Islands?”
Continue reading below as we list down 10 things you should experience when visiting the Galapagos Islands.
Things to Do in the Galapagos Islands: The Big 10
As part of Ecuador in South America, the Galapagos Islands are home to an extensive lineup of outdoor adventures. If Miami Beach is your go-to place for unwinding, the Galapagos Islands will take your relaxing experience to a whole new level.
Check out these spots and attractions that you need to visit during your stay:
1. Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz Island)
One of the must-see islands in Galapagos is Tortuga Bay. Located in Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay is home to Galapagos’ fascinating marine turtles.
If you can time your trip to Galapagos, do it between January and February. Black turtles tend to lay their eggs during these months. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to see one laying her eggs right in front of you.
But ready your legs as you need to go hiking before you can reach Tortuga Bay. The walk takes about 45 minutes, but the rewards are all worth it.
Even if you do not like turtles, you can see different kinds of exotic marine life. While snorkeling, you may encounter tiger sharks, white tip reef sharks, and other kinds of fishes.
If you love enjoying the beauty of birds, Galapagos is the place to be. It boasts of 45 bird types that you will never see anywhere else. It is home to some rare species like the red-footed boobies and waved albatrosses.
Different islands offer different bird-watching experiences. North Seymour Island has the frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. Isabela Island has the Galapagos penguins.
Galapagos offers guided tours with lodging and set meals. These will likely cost you around $4,000 to $7,500.
3. Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island)
If you are looking for a spot to unwind after a long day, Puerto Ayora is your best bet. It is Santa Cruz Island’s primary town.
Here, you will find numerous shops that offer different kinds of island stuff. You can dine in any of its lively restaurants. It is also home to some low-key nightclubs if you still want to party all night.
4. Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island)
Do you love science? Then you shouldn’t miss the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz Island. This must-see attraction features thought-provoking displays that explain the history and ecology of Galapagos.
The place also showcases an active breeding center. It spearheads the islands’ conservation initiatives. It heads researches and partners with hundreds of educators and volunteers.
You can also get up close and personal with Galapagos giant tortoises.
5. Santa Cruz Fish Market
Another spot that you should visit in Santa Cruz is their Fish Market. It is a place where locals and foreigners meet. It is a place where people get to taste of the latest catch from the sea.
Here, you will see the island’s fishermen unloading their bountiful catch. If you just want to waste away your time mindlessly, you can take photos of the sea lions at the pier nearby.
If you visit the market at night, you will see it transform into a huge outdoor restaurant. Here, you can experience authentic Galapagos meals.
6. Dragon Hill
If you still have a hangover for the wildlife, you need to visit Dragon Hill, also in Santa Cruz. It bears the name “dragon” because of the land iguanas the walk around the area.
Aside from the iguanas, you will also find Galapagos mockingbirds and shorebirds. You will also spot green turtles along its rock beach.
The place is also famous for its candelabra cactus and Galapagos cotton.
7. Ecuagringo Fishing
Looking to experience fishing for the first time? Try Ecuagringo Fishing. This commercial fishing company offers fishing tours around the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.
You can choose the type of fishing experience that you want. They have big game fishing and marlin fishing. They also offer fly fishing and inshore fishing.
8. Lava Tunnels
Make sure you visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz, particularly the Bellavista village. Here, you will find the breathtaking lava tunnels. Also called the lava tubes, these tunnels were a result of flowing lava.
The lava once moved right under the surface of the lava flow that became hard. After draining the lava, they allow the rocks to cool it down. The result is a cave made of lava.
Be prepared to crawl around the area. Bring your most durable shoes if you decide to explore the site.
9. LAVAWAVE Surf Galapagos
If you love riding the waves, you need to get in touch with LAVAWAVE Surf Galapagos. They prepare surfing experience for beginners and experts alike. They can customize the surfing lessons depending on your skill level.
If you are staying for more than a week on the island, try out their Wave Tour. It is a 7-day tour that comes with multiple surfing sessions. It also features a trip to the breeding center of the Galapagos tortoise.
You can also snorkel at Kicker Rock. You may also cap the tiring day at the Puerto Chino beach.
10. Wall of Tears
For a touch of history, visit the Wall of Tears. Also called El Muro de las Lágrimas by the locals of Isabela Island, the place evokes a history clothed of sadness.
Back in 1946, 300 prisoners together with 30 policemen came to the site. Their mission was to create a penal colony. The prisoners cut down large volcanic rocks to build the structure.
The prisoners didn’t complete the massive jail. The remnants of a 100 meter-long wall structure now remain.
It also has a height of eight meters. Despite its height, tourists can climb up the wall for some breathtaking views.
These are just 10 of the must-see places and activities you need to experience during your trip. If you have more time to spare, you can check out the other islands. Make sure you use a trusty travel map as a helpful resource.
Don’t Stop Traveling
With so many things to do in the Galapagos Islands, it should spur your interest to explore different parts of the world. But don’t forget these islands aren’t the only cool place to travel.
Don’t worry, we’ve got a lot more information in store for you. Feel free to read our other guides, like this one detailing what you can do when you spend a week in Sri Lanka.