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A guide to visiting South America: Galapagos Islands

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Our next destination in our guide to South America is the incredible Galapagos Islands! This area is home to a diverse array of wildlife and a pretty amazing ecosystem, making it a must-visit destination for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts.

We sat down with Justin, Industry Account Manager for Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic, to find out all about his recent travels to the Galapagos Islands and hear about some of the great ways you can explore this unique destination with Adventure World.

1. When is the best time to visit this part of the world?

The Galapagos Islands are beautiful to visit as a year-round destination, and there is always something unique to see. My recommendation would be from January through until May when the water temperature is at its warmest. This time of year you will get occasional showers but mainly at night/early morning.

2. How much time would you recommend people allow to visit?

I did a 10 day expedition and I found this to be the right amount of time to immerse yourself in this extraordinary place. If you’re travelling this far, look at one of our extension itineraries that includes Machu Picchu & Peru’s Land of the Inca or the Upper Amazon.

Sea Lion pup. Image by Justin

3. Tell us a bit about Lindblad Expeditions History in the Galapagos Islands?

Lars Eric Lindblad was the first person to take citizens to the Galapagos Islands in 1967. He also paid the salaries of the very first two Park Rangers for the first 12 months until the Ecuadorian Government got it up and running as a National Park in 1959. This experience is vital when choosing the right expedition company for you.

 5. What were the top 4 highlights of your time in the Galapagos?

  • First and foremost our Expedition Team. They are simply the best in the business.
  • Visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station and seeing the Giant Galapagos Tortoises roaming in the wild in the lush, green highlands on the Island of Santa Cruz.
  • The expedition walks, where you literally are stepping over Marine Iguanas, and Blue Footed Boobies because they just don’t see us as predators, very weird.
  • Snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands is the best I have ever experienced. The marine life is quite incredible due to the food source that the currents bring through the islands.

6. What type of wildlife can travellers expect to see in this part of the world?

The wildlife is in abundance, from Blue and Red Footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas, Sea Turtles, Sea Lions, Galapagos Penguins, Lava Lizards and then the fish that school in their thousands in these warm waters. You will see animals in the Galapagos islands that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet.

Galapagos Land Iguana. Image by Justin

7. Travel in the Galapagos Islands is of course by ship, can you tell us about your accommodation and experience?

We have two ships based in the Galapagos Islands. The National Geographic Islander that holds 48 guests and the National Geographic Endeavour II that holds 96 guests. These ships are beautiful. All of our cabins have windows and both of our ships carry a full roster of tools to enhance your experience, a fleet of Zodiacs, Kayaks and stand up paddleboards. We also carry all of our guests snorkelling gear and wetsuits. Our sailings are done at night to maximise our time off the ship during the day.

National Geographic Endeavour II

8. Any tips or recommendations for people considering travel to the Galapagos Islands?

  • The first tip would be to make sure you experience the Galapagos Islands on a small ship.
  • As I mentioned above, look at one of our extension itineraries like Machu Picchu or the Upper Amazon.
  • Take a waterproof camera and remember that those extendable selfie sticks that you use for the GoPro’s are banned in the Galapagos Islands.

As you can see, the Galapagos Islands are a fascinating destination, with so much to offer travellers. It’s also a great destination to combine with other itineraries in South America. If you’d like to know more about travel to this part of the world contact our friendly team of consultants today.

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