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The Islands of Galapagos

When thinking about taking a Galapagos Sailing Cruise or doing a Galapagos islands land-tour, you quickly realize that any traveler to this fascinating archipelago is spoilt for choice. The Galapagos islands themselves come in all shapes and sizes, the product of millions of years of volcanic activity, with new islands being created by lava rising from the sea before cooling and solidifying and being able to hold the amazing diversity of flora and fauna that made them famous for. Indeed, over the next few million years, there will be brand new islands appearing for sure and no doubt some of the existing ones will eventually return beneath the waves from where they came.

With twenty main islands to visit, the intrepid traveler can spend time in the archipelago hopping from island to island, exploring each one’s unique attributes and the famed diversity found there. A Galapagos Cruise or a Galapagos islands tour is an exploration of the very essence of evolution by natural selection, and whether you are an experienced naturalist or an amateur with a deep love of nature, you cannot help but be awed by the way the species found on each island have adapted and changed to fit their environments, or by the epitome of natural beauty found on them.

The Islands that welcomes you to paradise. It houses the main airport of the Archipelago and it’s the meeting point for most visitors.

Majestic views from the summit of Pinnacle Rock, snorkel with Sea Lions and Penguins on this beautiful Island on the Central part.

The shape of the islet resemblances a Chinese Hat, enjoy amazing hike to discover several species of birds and land-iguanas.

A peaceful small Island in the Central part, not open for most cruise itineraries to protect its natural beauty and wildlife sanctuary.

The smallest islet in the Galapagos, but truly a wonderful undersea sanctuary that makes it a top diving destination in the World.

The oldest Island of the Archipelago, holds incredible natural beauty and biodiversity, including the Waved Albatrosses and the amazing blowhole.

It holds the best sites in the Western part, meet the Endemic Flightless Cormorant, Galapagos Penguins and Marine Iguanas.

One of the first islands to be settled by human beings; it houses the very first Post-Office plus fantastic natural sites truly worth visiting.

Shaped like a horseshoe, is one of the youngest islands and offers incomparable hiking and snorkeling sites for the adventurous traveler.

The largest Island that houses over 6 volcanoes (some still active) and over 8 spectacular visitor sites; a marvelous destination whether you are taking a boat-trip or a land-based program.

The most remote on the Archipelago with no human presence or settlements allowed coverts it in a truly untamed wildlife sanctuary.

A very rocky environment surrounds its coast, this represents quite a challenge to the visitor as it doesn’t have defined or easy trails to follow.

A Paradise for bird lovers: Frigate Birds, Blue-Footed Boobies, Finches and more make this Island a must-see by sailing cruise or even on a day-trip from Puerto Ayora.

The birth place of “Lonesome George”, an icon of the Galapagos; it is one of the most protected sites as it house a thriving Endemic Turtle population.

A life-filled location: Land Iguanas, Boobies, Sea-Lions, Frigate. A paradise for hiking, birdwatching and snorkeling.

A magnificent islet that allows visitor to enjoy wildlife, Diving, hiking on uneven terrain and water activities as well.

Home of the capital of Galapagos and the second Airport, it has many diverse visitor sites and complete hotel infrastructure for the demanding traveler to enjoy.

Considered as the main populated Island and starting/ending point for most cruises and tours; it also has wonderful natural sites to visits like the Highlands (Turtle in semi-wild environment).

Also one of the first islands to thrive and among the most visited ones as well due to its wonderful biodiversity and natural enchantment.

The Islands has a surreal volcanic scenery that combined with its natural beauty, it has great appealing to the eager visitor that loves to explore unique environments.

The Larger Islands of the Galapagos

The largest island of the Galapagos Archipelago is Isabela, the only one to be bisected by the equator. Formed into a beautiful seahorse shape by oceanic erosion and volcanic activity, Isabela is an unmissable stop on your islands tour. Here you can see a wide range of wildlife, from the famous Endemic Darwin finches to Giant Tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and the unique lowland vegetation that allows these species to thrive.

Other large islands include: San Cristobal, where Darwin himself first landed on the Beagle, and which is a great spot for watching sea lions, dolphins, and a magnificent range of bird life. There is also Santa Cruz, another large island which attracts the attention of visitors as a result of it holding the Darwin Research Center, and the largest tortoise breeding program. Santa Cruz also holds some of the finest hotels to be found anywhere on the Galapagos. The island of Floreana is another large island, most attractive to visitors as a result of its human history, being one of the first to be inhabited by whalers and fishermen.

Elsewhere in the Archipelago

Of course, one of the real delights and unique pleasures of taking a Galapagos Islands tour is discovering for yourself all of the smaller islands which make up the archipelago. With dozens to choose from, and each revealing a small world of its own, there is no end to the surprises these islands can reveal. Whether you have a passionate desire to see the Darwin finches for yourself, or watch the iguanas feed, or the frigate birds nesting in the rocks, there is an island waiting for your and your sense of adventure.