THE SOUTHERN AMERICAN SERIES PT19
The Galapagos are a unique group of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. They are famous for its rich ecological diversity and there are animals here found nowhere else on earth.
THE ANIMALS WERE FAR FROM SCARED, THEY WERE INTRIGUTED BY US
The Galapagos is without doubt one of the most unique diving spots and considered to be the best cold ocean diving location in the world. Because of it’s unique location, during the months of June to December the Humboldt Current brings in cold nutrient dense waters from the south. In a recent poll, voted for by divers themselves, The Galapagos came out with having 10% of the best diving sites in the world. A huge feat for an area as small as it is.
WHERE ARE THE GALAPAGOS?
Swimming with sharks in the Galapagos
One reason why the diving is so good and why a lot of people want to visit is the protection that has been put in place around the island. There are strict procedures from the moment you step off the plane as visitors are required to sterilise their shoes upon disembarking the aircraft. A form is then required to be filled in along with $10 for the Ingala Transit Card and the National Park Fee which was $100! Add this to the cost of your flights (from Quito) and you are already down $500 – protection the environment isn’t cheap and as it’s such a unique place it’s worth every penny
Your time on the Galapagos is best spend going around it, but as I didn’t have the 2 or $3000 I would have to make do with staying on the island and doing my excursion from here.
HOTEL GALAPAGOS DREAMS
You aren’t going to find many hostels or cheap hotels but the best value I could find was Hotel Galapagos Dreams just a few minutes from the main street. You aren’t going the live I the lap of luxury here but its clean, has friendly staff and most importantly has a tour desk to arrange your diving
My time here is short so I didn’t want to waste a second. I signed up to day tour so I could see what The Galapagos had to offer above the ground before diving tomorrow.
Our first stop was El Chato, which is a reserve for Giant Tortoises and when I say giant, I mean I could crawl through their shell without a problem. You are free to walk around the reserve and mingle with the 100 year old reptiles.
Just a short walk from here is the Lava Tunnel where you can learn about how the Galapagos came about before taking a short drive to the Santa Cruz highlands
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS
The diving was incredible, we stopped off at Gordon’s Rock which is known as a top 10 dive site in the world. The animals here, many seals and sharks were intrigued that deterred by us. The colour of the water wasn’t exactly Belize but it was still up there but the coral however was intense and full of life. You could tell only a handful of divers are here every week! Keep an eye out for the hammerheads but more so the cold pockets. These can actually be seen underwater as they reflect the light differently than warmer water.
TORTUGA BAY & PLAYA PENINSULA
Away from the diving, the highlight of this little island has to be Tortuga Bay. It’s a flat 1 hour walk from Puerto Ayora and is home to countless iguanas. The bay is as close to a perfect beach as you’ll find and in typical Galapagos fashion it is forbidden to swimmers. However, if you feel the need you can swim at another cove at the end of the bay on Playa Peninsula. It’s common to see a large variety of fish as well as sharks, pelicans and of course large tortoises, of whom the islands were names after.
- PEOPLE – 9/10
- BACKPACKING – 6/10
- WEATHER – 8/10
- SAFETY – 9.5/10
- THINGS TO DO – 8/10
- VALUE – 7/10
- HIGHLIGHT – Diving with sharks
- LOWLIGHT – Nothing but it’s expensive
- VISIT AGAIN – Absolutely
- RATING – 8/10
There are a lot of unique places in the world but the Galapagos has to be one of the most special. You just cannot get an experience like this anywhere else.
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SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you been to the Galapagos?
- What was your experience like?
- Did you do a cruise?
Let me know in the comments below . . .