To continue her adventures in Ecuador, Tessa left for 10 days to discover the Galapagos Islands. On the agenda: the 3 main islands, snorkeling and animals of all kinds. Discover her favorites on each island.

Discover the diverse islands of the Galapagos

The Galapagos archipelago, located 1,000 km off the Pacific coast of Ecuador, is made up of 3 main islands, as well as a multitude of uninhabited islands accessible from each of the islands or by cruise. During my trip, I was lucky enough to discover each of the three to learn more about the specificities of each of them.

In San Cristobal, you’ll discover Puerto Baquerizo with its pier and the sea lions that sleep around it. Along the harbor, you can walk to the beaches of Playa de Oro or Playa Mann. There, you can relax surrounded by sea lions with their babies, watch the flying pelicans and take a swim.

In Santa Cruz, you’ll stay in Puerto Ayora. This is a slightly larger village, with more inhabitants. You can live in the heart of the town. On the pier, in the evening, you can watch baby sharks swimming close to shore. In the early morning, when the fish arrive at the port, you’ll see many sea lions between the stalls, on the lookout for the smallest morsel of food. Pelicans will also be out in force. In the surrounding area, be careful where you sit – some people sleep comfortably on city benches. Enjoy the corviche at a local food truck near the jetty. From here, you can visit the uninhabited island of Bartolomé and discover an extraordinary volcanic landscape.

The last and wildest island: Isabela. In this small fishing village, still in its original state, Puerto Villamil plunges you into a warm and friendly atmosphere, inhabited by the locals. You can eat the famous “almuerzos” on a street corner and have a drink along the beach at sunset. It’s also the ideal place to rent a bike and set off to discover the Wall of Tears, higher up on the island, and discover a magnificent view of the whole island!

A biodiversity unique in the world

The Galapagos are famous for the mega-biodiversity that inhabits the archipelago. To visit the enchanted islands is to discover wild animals in their natural habitat and to be able to have a special approach unique in the world. 

Here are some of the highlights of my stay in the Galapagos:

Sea lions by the hundreds

On the 3 main islands, you can observe and see sea lions, both on land and at sea. On land, families sleep on decks, beaches, jetties and pontoons. The places are theirs. Early in the morning, you may come face to face with a sea lion sleeping on a public bench. On the beach, you’ll sleep beside them, watch them take to the water after their nap: babies and adults alike will give you a spectacle of growling and running like you’ve never seen before. Like me, a baby might turn off on you while you’re on your towel. But that’s okay, it’s cute, it’s a baby! On Isabela in Concha y Perla, you can swim alongside them and play with them. A unique, timeless moment.

Marine iguanas, an endemic species

Marine iguanas will amaze you both on land and in the sea. Along the harbours, look where you’re walking: marine iguanas sleep comfortably on the paths, sprawled out across the road. In the water, you can see them swimming in search of food. You may be surprised by their sneeze!

Sea or land turtles, make your choice (or not)

Whether at sea or on land, you’ll come across turtles, each as impressive as the next. During snorkeling activities, you’ll swim with dozens of sea turtles, each bigger than the next. At Tuneles, near Isabela, they swim in the transparent waters and accompany you on your journey. 

Still in Isabela, take the road to the Wall of Tears on foot or by bike. Along the way, you’ll stroll along the turtle trail. Here, you’ll come face to face with huge, impressive, century-old land tortoises. You’ll be amazed by their appearance. Jean de la Fontaine thought they were slow, but they seem to be quite fast. Fun fact about tortoises: they snore! If you hear a thud on your way, don’t be afraid, one of them is probably resting.

Marine diversity

Finally, the sea offers an extraordinary diversity of incredible fish and cetaceans. During snorkeling trips, you’ll have the chance to discover multicolored fish and magnificent coral. At Tuneles, a fever of stingrays may join you on your underwater walk. Hidden in one of the underwater caves, blacktip sharks may greet you. A seahorse takes a break not far from the caves, much to everyone’s delight. Near San Cristobal, on an excursion to Leon Dormido, you may cross paths with a whale shark.

In the Galapagos, you’ll encounter a concentration of biodiversity rare in the world. You’ll discover or re-discover the territory of these animals on an island-hopping holiday or cruise. If this enchanted archipelago takes your fancy, don’t hesitate to contact one of our local experts, who will put together a tailor-made itinerary for you.

Discover even more with the video below ↓