Sublime Galapagos Islands with Marnella Tours | TravelResearchOnline

Sublime Galapagos Islands with Marnella Tours

If you’re ever been interested in marine life and nature, the Galapagos Islands are the perfect place for your next vacation! Home to many different endemic species, this archipelago is a great way to immerse yourself in the wildlife all around. Thanks to Marnella Tours, the supplier sponsor of this article, you’ll be able to see all of what the Galapagos Islands have to offer.

60-Second Geography

Galapagos Islands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The archipelago of volcanic islands that make up the Galapagos Islands are a nature lovers dream. The area is known for the vast amount of endemic species once studied by Charles Darwin. His observations and collections from his time on the Galapagos Islands eventually helped lead Darwin to his theory of evolution. Not only does the island have many incredible things to do and sites to see, but it is tied to a piece of scientific history! Isabela Island is the largest island in the archipelago. With an area of over 1,700 square miles it is four times bigger than the second largest island. When visiting Isabela Island be sure to keep a look out for different species and sub species of tortoises. This island has the largest population of wild tortoises than any other island! Six shield volcanoes can be found on Isabela Island, and only two of them are no longer active. This makes it one of the most volcanically active places on earth. One of these is the Wolf Volcano. It is the highest peak in the Galapagos Islands reaching 5,600 feet. Sierra Negra is another shield volcano found on Isabela Island. One of the most active of the volcanoes in the Galapagos Island, Sierra Negra’s most recent eruption in 2005 last 8 days! You can take a guided tour of Sierra Negra, where you will get to see fresh lava fields.

 

  • These guided tours generally start from the small port village of Puerto Villamil. Stroll down the boardwalk and take in the beauty around you. It will lead you through mangrove environments and along saltwater lagoons. These lagoons are home to an array of animals, including flamingos, whimbrels, and even Bahama pintails who search the mud for brine. Upon reaching the end of the walking path you will find the Tortoise Breeding Center. The center was created to help preserve the many species of tortoises found on Isabela Island. Just a little west of the village you can see the Wall of Tears, one of the island’s most historic sites. The wall was constructed between 1945 and 1959 by prisoners from the penal colony. The wall is said to have caused thousands deaths during its period of construction. It is referred to as the Wall of Tears due to the cries the locals claim it emanates. Santa Cruz Island is the second largest island of the Galapagos, with an area of 381 square miles. It is home to the most populous town in the Galapagos: Puerto Ayora. One of the most exciting things to see in Puerto Ayora is the Charles Darwin Research Station. Serving as the headquarters for the Charles Darwin Foundation, the research station is found off the shore of Academy Bay. The research center has a staff of over 100 volunteers, scientists, and educators from all over the globe dedicated to research and education for environmental conservation. It is at the Charles Darwin Research Station where you can learn both the history of the Galapagos as well as future plans of conservation.

 

  • Academy Bay is the perfect spot for a little snorkeling or scuba diving. The Galapagos Islands are known as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World, and the water in Academy Bay is ideal for exploring. The area is popular to sailors and tourists, as it creates the natural harbour for Santa Cruz Island. Sometimes lava flows even come up to the edge of the water making for a scene unlike any other you could imagine. Tortuga Bay is another popular beach area on Santa Cruz Island. The beach is so pristine it is forbidden to swimmers. To walk along the shore, you must sign in and out with the Galapagos Park Service Office, but all the work is worth the incredible views. Tortuga Bay’s beach is preserved for the wildlife. On your walk you might see marine iguanas or galapagos crabs hanging out around the volcanic rocks. From a small cove on the bay you can sometimes see white tip reef sharks and the occasional tiger shark swimming in the blue waters. Brown pelicans and tortoises are also often spotted throughout Tortuga Bay. The Galapagos National Park is also located on the island. It is Ecuador’s first national park, and it has also been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of this. Another island in the Galapagos to make sure to visit is San Cristobal Island.

 

  • San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos, as well as the easternmost island in the archipelago. Make sure not to miss El Junco Lagoon, the island’s only source of fresh water. Despite its name, it is actually a crater lake and not a lagoon. Visit the Information Center on San Cristobal Island, where you can learn about the history of the archipelago. After spending the afternoon at the Information Center, head up to Frigatebird Hill. It is an excellent lookout point that offers some of the best views of Shipwreck Bay. From this point you can even see Lion Dormido also know as Kicker Rock. These two volcanic rock towers that stand at 140 feet look like a sleeping lion when viewed from the south, hence their name. From the opposite side, the rocks resemble a boot. This is where its other name, Kicker Rock, comes from. The capital of the archipelago, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, can be found on San Cristobal Island. Stroll through the capital in a day or less, as the island is so small you can get almost anywhere you need on foot! Watch sea lions sunbath on the rocks along the water, or marvel at the beautiful boats bobbing with the flow of the waves. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is also home to a branch campus of the Universidad San Francisco. Lay out and get a tan on the beaches of Playa Mann or Playa Carola, as these are the only two open to the public in the capital. Or, grab your gear and prepare for a snorkeling adventure in Tijeretas Cove.

 

  • Espanola Island is another popular island among the Galapagos for a visit. Punta Suarez is home to some of the most incredible seabirds. Visit between the months of March and January, and you will get to see waved albatrosses. Almost all of the world’s population of waved albatrosses flock to Espanola Island, specifically Punta Suarez, to mate. Spend a day spotting bird species, as this area has quite a sensational seabird population. For an up close and personal view of the sea lions, make sure to visit Gardner Bay. This stunning beach is often populated with sea lions, giving visitors the opportunity to get closer with them than they could ever imagine! Not far from the bay is Gardner Islet, a popular snorkeling destination. If you are lucky, the sea lions might follow you out there and snorkel with you. Santa Fe Island is a great day trip from Santa Cruz, and perfect for the nature enthusiasts in your group. The island has two different trails you can take to view the wonders of the island. Something very unique and interesting to see on this island is the Opunita Cactus Forest; one of the two offered trails will lead visitors right through it. Here you can see galapagos doves, lava lizards, and even some Darwin finches! One of the highlights of visiting Santa Fe Island is the opportunity to see a chocolate brown Santa Fe Land Iguana. They are endemic to this island only, and definitely worth seeing.

A visit to the Galapagos Islands is sure to educate, excite, and entertain visitors of all ages. Book a tour with Marnella Tours now so you won’t miss out on all the nature and adventure of a Galapagos Islands Vacation.

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