The fragile, moon-like landscape of the Galápagos Islands lures more than 100,000 visitors each year despite the archipelago’s remote location 600 miles off the west coast of mainland Ecuador. Ever since Darwin‘s famed visit aboard the HMS Beagle in 1835, travelers have been enchanted by its history, exotic vegetation and wildlife.
In order to protect the eco-system of this UNESCO World Heritage Site as much as possible, the Ecuadorian government restricts the number of cruises that can visit each island at any one time. But you don’t have to worry about missing out: each of the 13 major islands, from the oldest in the East (Española) to the most recent (Fernindina) in the west, offers unique flora and fauna diversity for an extraordinary experience.
To plan your own escape to the Galápagos Islands, choose from among a variety of tour options, including 8-day small-ship cruises, shorter-stay lodge-based day trips, and combined land/islands packages. Visit Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism site or discovergalapagos.com for more information.
In case you missed the travelogue of my own 2011 journey to the Galápagos, you can catch up on my stories here:
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What about you, wanderboomers? Have you visited the Galápagos Islands yet?