What it’s like to visit the Galapagos as a tourist

If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to visit the Galapagos as a tourist, then this video is for you. 

It was shot in December 2016, during a 6 day cruise around the western part of the archipelago – visiting the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina and Santiago. 

The Galapagos islands are in the Pacific, on the Equator about 1000Km west of Ecuador. There are 18 large islands, 4 of which are inhabited by people. The entire archipelago was formed by the Nazca tectonic plate moving over a “hot spot” or magma plume deep below the seafloor. The oldest islands are in the south east, around 3.5 million years old – while the youngest are in the west – still forming and still volcanically active. 

Cruising the western islands allows you to see all of the iconic birds, animals and reptiles of the Galapagos, as well as volcanoes and barren and stony lava fields where you can see Life  beginning to establish a foothold and colonise anew. 

Even if you have seen some of the countless documentaries about the Galapagos, there’s no substitute for the thrill of seeing these islands and their unique creatures with your own eyes. Charles Darwin was so impressed he spent the next 20 years trying to understand how all that diversity had came about. That’s what led to him developing the Theory of Evolution – one of the most important and best-substantiated theories in the history of science

Getting there

The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador. There are no direct international flights to the islands, so in order to fly there you need to take a domestic flight from Ecuador’s mainland, from either Quito or Guayaquil.

97% of the land in the Galapagos is a national park which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tourism is quite strictly regulated so it is best to plan your visit via one of the travel agencies that specialise in the Galapagos. There is a wide variety in the types and costs of the cruise boats. It is best to seek advice before you choose. (You don’t need to take a cruise boat, but you will need some means of water transport if you want to see more than one island).

This video has optional captions in both English and Spanish.

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