Have an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island–this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). See blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigatebirds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Top off the excursion with a snorkel among sea lions and rays.
Visit Cerro Brujo to explore its coastline, and look for wildlife on the beach, in the water, and in the air. Learn about the human and natural history of the area from the Galápagos CEO. Take a refreshing dip in the turquoise water, and head out on a short walk to a freshwater lagoon–a great place to see flamingos.
Embark on a snorkelling adventure at Kicker Rock, one of the most stunning landmarks in the Galápagos Islands that’s home to an incredibly diverse range of marine life that inhabits the nutrient-rich water. Explore the rock which rises 150m (492 ft) above the ocean’s surface, and is divided into two parts by an arrow channel navigable by small vessels. See an array of sharks and fish that are drawn to the rock and provide for an exhilarating unique snorkelling experience.
Snorkel right off the beach at peaceful Isla Lobos, amid the families of sea lions and their inquisitive pups looking to play. Spot nesting frigate birds and the famous blue-footed boobies resting on the shore. Be sure to bring your camera to catch some snaps at this prime wildlife watching haven.
Explore this tiny island by foot and boat for some great wildlife encounters. Take a panga ride to view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. Spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies as well as two species of sea lions.
Head to Punta Suárez on Española Island, the southernmost island in the Galápagos archipelago and home to several wildlife species. Hike to the top of the cliff for spectacular photo opportunities, and explore the island’s untamed natural beauty.
Visit Gardner Bay’s magnificent white sandy beach, home to sea lions and seabirds. Be sure to explore the beautiful turquoise water and its incredible sea life.Spot young sea lions and large schools of surprisingly big tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeon fish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrot fish.
Enjoy fantastic snorkelling at Gardner Bay. Further out towards Tortuga Rock and Gardner Island, see schools of large colourful tropical fish. Spot an occasional manta ray gliding by as well as white tip reef sharks napping on the bottom. Also, get the chance to swim with the sea lions–it’s an opportunity not to be missed!
Visit South Plaza, one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos, which has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation on this lively island,home to a wide range of fauna, including incredible bird life. Spot red-billed tropic birds and indigenous swallow-tailed gulls resting on the cliffs, and sea lions playing in the waters.
Visit Santa Fé for amazing wildlife watching opportunities. Hike towards the cliffs along the island’s northern shore to view the forest of giant prickly pear cactus (Opuntia), which is home to endemic land iguanas. It is also one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions, and get a glimpse of a white tip reef shark.
Head to Santa Cruz’s verdant highlands and the El Chato Reserve, a perfect place to see giant tortoises in their natural environment. Explore the reserve’s lagoon and lava tunnels, keeping an eye out for owls that often roost in the tunnels’ entrances.
The tiny town of Puerto Ayora offers some unique shopping opportunities and a fish market to checkout.
Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction,see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close–a corral houses adult tortoises,and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened.
Visit Post Office Bay and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century,English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. Today,the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition–leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)!
Enjoy an amazing snorkelling experience at the ‘Devil’s Crown’, an old underwater volcanic cone just north of the Punta Cormorant. Spot large schools of tropical fish, rays, reef sharks, and sea turtles that make their home among the coral reef. Be sure you’re a strong swimmer; the currents can be intense.
Visit Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill) for some prime bird watching. Take a short walk from the beach to a hyper salinic(saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Pass through a Scalesia tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.
Explore Chinese Hat’s beautiful landscape and spectacular white-coral sand beach followed by snorkelling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.
Explore the mangrove lagoon at Black Turtle Cove. In the afternoon, transfer fora flight back to Quito.
Explore the mangroves by panga to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep any eye out for manta rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. White tip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by.