The extraordinary sum of unique and endemic wildlife and sea life isn’t the only reason why you should embark on a Galapagos Islands cruise. The Galapagos Islands are one of the most diverse nature treasure boxes, full of amazing things to see, visit and explore and the perfect off the beaten path destination for your next family trip. In addition to that, here is a list of key reasons why The Galapagos Island must be your next family cruise destination.
#1 Experience Volcanoes In Their True Glory
The Galapagos Islands are lava-formed islands and islands, just 1000 km from Ecuador. There are 23 volcanoes in total, of which 13 are considered active with eruptions every few years. In the Galapagos Islands, you can find three different types of lava that make the surface of each island differ from the others. Also, the underwater landscape is ever-changing because of the constant volcanic activity and the three different oceanic currents around the islands.
The first volcano that you should visit is the active Sierra Negra Volcano, located on Isabela Island. You can also visit the Lobo Volcano on Isabela Island and spot the rare pink land iguana on the way. Other volcanoes that are worth the visit are Alcedo Volcano and the twin craters in Fernandina Island.
#2 Dive Among Whale Sharks Or Manta Rays
The islands are popular because they are home to some of the most exciting dive spots in the world. The dive spots are mostly volcanic in nature, but coral reefs can also be spotted in the underwater landscape.
There are two official diving seasons on the Galapagos island, but you can literally dive any day of the year and still have the time of your life. From December to May, or the warm season in the Galapagos, you can swim among manta rays and hammocks. The cold season from June to November is best for spotting whale sharks, mola mola, and penguins.
Without a doubt, the best diving spot in the Galapagos islands is the Darwin Arch on Darwin Island. In this dive spot, you can see all types of sharks and even get a glance at the world’s largest shark. From Galapagos sharks and silky sharks to hammerheads and blacktip sharks. And all this in just 9 m of depth. Talk about a shark paradise!
#3 Walk Among Galapagos Tortoises
The Galapagos Tortoises are the sweetest and one of the biggest reptiles you will see in your life. You can find them roaming the streets of the islands and in the reserves. You can try to feed them their favourite treat – prickly pear cactus. The most famous reserve that you must visit is the Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island. They are an endangered species because they have been heavily hunted in the past because of their shells. Today only approximately 15,000 tortoises remain.
#4 Visit The Pinnacle Rock
The Pinnacle Rock located on Bartolome Island is one of the most famous landmarks in the Galapagos Islands. It is truly a sight that will make your jaw drop, no matter if you have previously seen it in a picture or not. The Pinnacle is a marvellous obelisk that rises from beneath the turquoise water surface. The rock is usually surrounded by all types of animals, including Galapagos penguins who always rest on the bottom of the rock.
#5 Wander on Isabela Island Wetlands Complex
Just outside of Puerto Villamil in Isabela Island, there is the Wetland Complex. You can go on a hike with a guide or just let yourself get lost and wander the beauty of Isabela Island. You are sure to encounter lagoons and many swamps, where you may see flamingos and iguanas. This makes for the perfect afternoon activity.
#6 Get Your Surf On
Even though the waters surrounding each island are ideal for surfing, surfing is illegal on Galapagos Island. But, you are allowed to surf on San Cristobal Island. It is a world-renowned surfing spot where you can ride humongous waves. Don’t worry if you haven’t tried surfing before, you can even get lessons there. It is an opportunity that you should definitely take advantage of when cruising the Galapagos Islands.
#7 See The Wall Of Tears
One of the most important historical sites of the Galapagos Islands is located on Isabela Island. Because of the remoteness of the Galapagos Islands, the government turned it into a prison in the past. For 14 long years between 1945 and a959, prisoners sent to Isabela Island were forced to build a very high way by stacking volcanic rocks on top of each other. A legend passed on from one generation to another, says that people who get close to the wall can still hear the cries of the prisoners. Nonetheless, it is an amazing thing to see where or not you are a history or mystery enthusiast.
#8 Explore The Pirate Caves
The Galapagos Islands were once home to pirates. To this day the caves in Floreana Island offer the most insight into pirate life. The caves have their own freshwater supply and the caves were carved out of soft rock with the hands of the pirates. So the Old Pirate Caves aren’t natural caves, but man-made. And they are the only caves on The Galapagos Islands that are man-made.