They fly, crawl, swim and (rarely ever) bite. Heck, some even sneeze salt. What are we talking about? These are just a few of the incredible animals of the Galapagos Islands. And right now they’re offering their hangout time at a discounted rate.
Nowhere in the world can you experience the same level of diversity in such a small area as you can in the Galapagos. This smattering of islands off the coast of Ecuador have long been renowned for the unique way in which its wildlife has evolved, and the lack of natural predators and human interference have left the animals downright friendly.
During my time in the Galapagos, I was fortunate enough to have a great camera lens and some fantastic weather conditions in which to use it. In a few (too short) days, I was able to snorkel with sea turtles, hang out with sea lions on the beach, visit an albatross colony, observe the mating rituals of the blue-footed booby and even get face to face with the sadly recently deceased Lonesome George. All in all, it was one of the best trips I have ever been on.
A specific story comes to mind. Snorkelling off the beach of Española Island, I was off on my own, while the others in my group were following some sea lion pups playing in the water at the other end of the beach. I was absently checking out some corals on the rocks when I felt something rub up against my stomach. I looked down, and found myself staring at the back of a huge green turtle. Not even caring that I was there, and literally brushing up against his shell, he proceeded to chow down on some leafy underwater greens: what I now call turtle salad. After a few minutes, he finished his meal and trundled off back down into deeper water. Wow. Who knew I had made a wrong turn and stumbled into the buffet? This is just one of the many incredible close encounter experiences I had.
The best way to visit the islands is definitely by ship. There are multiple options to choose from, but they vary dramatically in quality, routes and price. We work with some great operators, who happen to be running some even greater specials through the rest of the summer. Depending on the ship, discounts range from 20% off to 2 for 1, so drop us a line if you’re interested. You won’t be sorry.
Mike Poppe plans to return to the Galapagos soon. And this time he’ll be diving with hammerheads instead of grazing sea turtles.