The Best Time To Visit The Galapagos

Unlike most other wildlife destinations, in The Galapagos has few migratory species, so the same animals can be seen all year round and being on the equator, the weather is more than pleasant throughout the year.

But the truly astounding thing about the Galapagos is the human connection with wildlife. Evolving without seeing man as a predator, the wildlife have little fear of humans. This leads to closer, more intimate wildlife encounters and endless photo opportunities.

Although there is never a bad time to visit the Galapagos, animal behaviour varies according to the season so if there is a particular wildlife spectacle you’d like to witness, it’s best to pick your time accordingly.

The two long, yet distinct seasons in The Galapagos are the warm/wet season and the cold/dry season.

The warm, wet season (Late December to June)

The warm and wet season stretches from Late December to June, with March and April usually being the hottest and wettest months. The trade winds fall and the air temperature rises.

The rising warm air results in daily afternoon showers. Which can be most welcome as the temperature regularly reaches 30oC and above.

The water temperature is warmer and the sea tends to be calmer, making this an ideal time for snorkelling where a rich variety of exciting marine life can be seen all year round.

The start of the year is when the turtles lay their eggs. As a result, December to March is considered to be one of the best times to visit.

For bird lovers, February to May is packed with mating rituals and new birth for the many species of impressive birds.

If you want to see albatrosses, late March to early April should give you a good chance of seeing their spectacular courtship ritual.

Another natural spectacle on the Galapagos is the famous courtship dance of the Blue Footed Boobie, which happens in May and makes a truly unforgettable sight.

The cool, dry season (Late June to December)


The cool season runs from late June to December, when you can expect it to be relatively cool and dry with more overcast skies and occasional drizzle or mist.

August is the coolest month. But to put The Galapagos ‘chilly’ weather into perspective, you can expect day-time temperatures to range from 19-26 oC

In the cool season, the sea comes into its own. The annual plankton bloom makes it an ideal choice for divers. If you are hardy enough to take on the lower water temperatures, you’re likely to be treated to an impressive underwater display including sea lions, penguins, whale sharks and diving sea birds.

This annual plankton bloom also attract whales. Between June and September there are possible sightings of all kinds of whales including blues whales, humpback whales, sperm whales, orca and of course you can always expect to be joined by the occasional pod of playful dolphins

Because the temperature is not too hot during this season, it is also the breeding period for many sea birds and shore birds, marine iguanas, sea lions and fur seals.

In August the unbelievably cute baby sea lions are born November sees the young sea lions take to the water for the first time and swimming with these playful, inquisitive animals is a true delight.

Visit The Galapagos In Your Own Way

We have vessels the Galapagos, ranging from as small as 12 passengers right up to 200. But rest assured, which ever ship you choose, you will always be accompanied by an experienced and qualified guide.

Whether you want to enjoy a truly memorable family adventure or a wildlife holiday with other adults, we can find the perfect Galapagos cruise for you.

Now you have a few ideas of what time to go and what to see, feel free to give us a call and chat through your plans. Our travel experts will be happy to give you a few pointers or suggestions to help get the most out of your Galapagos adventutre.

Check out all our adventures in The Galapagos here

Our Brand New David Attenborough Explorer Itinerary 2020

An incredible wildlife adventure taking in five continents over four months.



We have launched a brand new wildlife adventure for 2020, inspired by the legendary natural historian Sir David Attenborough.

If you’re a fan of the iconic documentary makers’ work you’ll definitely want to find out more about our incredible new itinerary, focusing on the fascinating destinations and wildlife featured across the popular documentaries.

This brand new itinerary for 2020 combines a selection of our greatest wildlife adventures across five different continents to take in some of the most fascinating scenery and species which have been the star of the show in Attenborough’s recent works.

Starting in Antarctica in February and ending in the Arctic in June, passing through South America, Africa, and Asia along the way, this intrepid itinerary offers the chance to see everything from pumas to polar bears, painted wolves and penguins.

Read the full itinerary below.

Antarctica – February 2020 (14 Nights)

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Our intrepid wildlife itinerary begins in Antarctica with an epic 14-night polar adventure in the Falklands. Our Falklands Birds and Wildlife tour takes in the remote wilderness of the Falkland Islands, offering the opportunity to see the most spectacular wildlife this region has to offer, including albatross, 5 different species of penguin, seals, dolphins, orcas and a myriad of birdlife – many of which have played a star part in Attenborough’s documentaries.

South America

Costa Rica – March 2020 (11 nights)

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The tour continues to Costa Rica with our incredible 11-night scuba diving experience in the Coco Islands. This underwater adventure offers the chance to explore one of the most impressive diving destinations in the world, home to over 300 different species of fish. Other fascinating creatures to witness here include turtles, dolphins and sailfish – all which have featured in Attenborough’s documentaries.

Ecuador – March 2020 (9 Nights)

hinese Hat and Rabida Island

The next leg of the tour is our 9-night Galapagos adventure, which takes in the west, central and east islands. The wildlife journey includes the opportunity to see the largest colony of marine iguanas on Fernandina Islands, a visit to a nesting site for the flightless cormorant on Isabela Island and pelican spotting on Rabida Island.

Argentina – March/April 2020 (11 Nights)

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Next up is Argentina, for our brand new Patagonia, Pumas and Glaciers tour. This 11-day tour offers the chance to see pumas in the wild in the very location where Attenborough filmed his unforgettable Seven Worlds One Planet episode. This thrilling tour also includes a visit to  Los Glaciares National Park and a hike along the Southern Glacier.

Brazil – April 2020 (11 Nights)

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Africa

Zimbabwe – April 2020 (6 Nights)

Concluding our time in South America, we head to Brazil for our Amazon, Pantanal and Savannah tour. This trip offers a unique opportunity to see the maned wolf in the wild, as well as the jaguars and anteaters which have featured in Attenborough’s documentaries. This tour includes accommodation in eco-lodges set among the incredible nature, as you visit each of these three fascinating areas of varied terrain.

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Our first Africa leg of this itinerary is in Zimbabwe, where you can visit the Mana Pools National Park which was featured in Attenborough’s Dynasties documentary. This 7-day Super Sensory Safari is a first of its kind and provides a truly immersive safari experience, with activities specifically designed to engage all of the senses, including a walking safari led by expert professional guides.

Botswana – April/May 2020 (12 Nights)

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The second African safari stop is in Botswana where you can see the beauty of the African elephants in the wild at Chobe Riverfront, home to the largest density of African elephants. This Wild Botswana tour also visits Okavango Delta, known as one of the best destinations in all of Africa for wildlife lovers.

Asia

India – May/June 2020 (12 Nights)

andhavgarh National Park

In Asia, take in our Wildlife Special focusing on leopards, tigers and rhinos. This 12-night tour includes tiger viewing in two of India’s best tiger reserves and a safari in Kaziranga Park – home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceros.

Arctic – June 2020 (10 Nights)

xploring Spitsbergen

This magnificent wildlife itinerary ends in the Arctic with our Introduction to Spitsbergen tour. This 10-night polar expedition will encounter polar bears, arctic foxes, whales and walruses in the wild as you explore the very best of what Spitsbergen has to offer.

This incredible 4-month itinerary taking in five different continents costs from £40,411pp. This doesn’t include transfers between countries. All internal transport within each leg of the trip, accommodation, and excursions are included as stated in each individual tour itinerary.

Contact us now to book

Galapagos Beach The holiday of a lifetime courtesy of Wildfoot

 

Rose Krzyz took a trip with us to The Galapagos recently. Here she describe her experience first hand, along with some impressive holiday snaps.

It was a chance encounter with Simon at the Photography exhibition at the NEC that started our journey towards our holiday of a lifetime.  It took a long time planning but two years later with all our paperwork in place a few days before we due to leave, we set of from Sheffield to Manchester airport on a snowy night with Winnats, Snake and Woodhead closed. Things were bound to get better we told ourselves.

Wildfoot had advised us on how to ensure the holiday to the Galapagos met our expectations.  We were a party of four with different areas of interest, yet with Wildfoot’s help the holiday catered for all our needs and desires. In fact at the end of the holiday we all agreed that we had just had three holidays in one; Quito being shown around by Louis for Andando for four days, Galapagos on the Yolita 11 for eight days and Bellavista in the cloud forest for another four days.

A bit of advice for those considering this trip.

  1. Ignore the weather forecasts. Pack layers for all eventuality excluding snow! And pack a poncho for the Cloud Forest, a raincoat is not enough!  On a positive note our experience was that the weather was never as bad as predicted by the weather forecast.
  2. By all means read the forums about crime in Quito, but do not let them ruin your enjoyment of this beautiful city. Take the same precautions you would take in any big city.  We went around with guides in the day time to make sure we got to see all the sights in the little time we had at our disposal, but in the evenings walked from the Hilton to the Plaza Foch and back again as a group of four with no trouble.
  3. Make sure you are fit enough for the small boat cruise. The first day on the Yolita the itinerary consisted of two snorkels and two walks.  You can of course opt out of any activity, but you would be missing out a lot. Snorkels generally last one hour but the rib follows you closely and you are free to climb abroad whenever you want to. Walks were also about one hour long and the terrain varied.  Every evening we would have a briefing to let us know what was involved.
  4. Getting on and off the boat onto the islands can be a challenge, but our group of late sixty year olds managed it well with only one slip up!

And the memorable bits of this amazing holiday:

The holiday was so well put together by Wildfoot, that, in spite of the fact that we were dealing with at least three different providers, (Andando, Yolita 11, and Bellavista), one part of the holiday merged seamlessly into the next.  The guides picked us up from the hotel on time and delivered us back there at the end of the activity.  On our last day, we were transported from the Bellavista Lodge back to the airport. The Bella vista package included a day tour to see the famous Cock on the Rock at the Paz de la Aves Reserve. None ofour group would classify ourselves as twitchers, but the sight of these rare birds making an appearance at the appointed time to attract a mate will remain with us forever.

Thank you Simon, Sharon, Joel and Gillian for looking after the boring preparations for our holiday and checking that everything was in place, so that we could relax and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.

Rose Krzyz    (19 March 2019)

When to visit the Galapagos What is the best time of year to visit The Galapagos?
Green Sea Turtle Meet The Galapagos’ Professor Reptile


alejandro_arteagaAlejandro Arteaga is an Ecuadorian-Venezuelan biologist and wildlife photographer. He is the scientific director of Tropical Herping, an institution he co-founded in 2009 to preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians through tourism, photography, education and research.

Alejandro was kind enough to answer a few questions about turtles and the Galapagos for us. Here are his words of wisdom.

  1. What makes The Galapagos so appealing to turtles?

    The Galapagos Islands have been a heaven for at least five species of marine turtles and 14 tortoises for millions of years. Green Sea-Turtles and Hawksbills nest and reside in Galapagos waters year-round. They do so probably because their nests face fewer predators here than in the mainland. To Giant Tortoises, Galapagos is a special place because, until the arrival of humans to the islands, they diversified and thrived in the absence of major predators (a special condition not met on the mainland).

  2.  What is the best time of year to see turtles in The Galapagos?

    In Galapagos, visitors may see giant tortoises in the wild throughout the year. However, during the dry season (Jun -Nov), tortoises congregate in greater numbers in the highlands, which improve’s visitors chances to see them. Sea turtles of two different species (Hawksbill and Green Sea-Turtles) may be seen in Galapagos waters throughout the year, but they are easier to see during nesting season, which coincides with the rainy season (Dec – May) with a peak in Feb – Mar.

  3. Which species of turtles can be found in The Galapagos?


    There are 19 species. Here is a complete list with information

  4. What is the rarest species of turtle to be found in The Galapagos?


    Among giant tortoises, it is the Fernandina Giant-Tortoise. Only one living female is known to exist.
Among sea turtles, it is the Loggerhead. It has only be seen in Galápagos waters twice.

  5. What are the majors threats to the future of the world’s turtles?

    The major threats to giant tortoises are:
    A) Introduced predators (pigs, dogs, cats, and ants), which prey on the eggs and hatchlings;
    B) The  disturbance of migratory routes;
    C) The conversion of tortoise habitat to agriculture and pastureland.The major threats to sea turtles are

    :
    A) Incidental mortality due to interactions with fisheries;
    B) degradation of marine and nesting habitats;
    C) climate change (read why in the conservation section here);
    D) introduced predators (pigs, dogs, cats, and ants), which prey on the eggs and hatchlings.

  1. What  can visitors to the Galapagos do to help the conservation of turtles?
    Support projects like the: Giant Tortoise Restoration Initiative
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Natalie In Patagonia Top Ten Bucket List Trips For 2018

Natalie's Top Ten Bucket List Trips For 2018
Wildfoot travel expert Natalie Natalie Greenhalgh has always been passionate about travelling. Seeking out new places and new travel experiences is something she has done all her life. Always lining up the next life-goal or travel-target. So who better to ask to put together her top ten bucket-list adventures for 2018? Here’s Natalie’s top ten. How many of these adventures would you add to your bucket list?

We all do it, every year we make a list of new year’s resolutions that often tend to be about bettering one’s self. And we can’t think of a better way of doing this than to travel. So book your time off, pack your bags and set off for a new destination! It’s a great big world out there, so here are some highlights that we at Wildfoot Travel would highly recommend.

Beautiful Patagonia

Hike Hidden Pathways in Patagonia

Celebrating 200 years of independence this year, Chile is unlike any other place on earth. Isolated from the rest of the world with the vast Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atacama Desert to the North, the soaring Andes to the East and the wilds of Patagonia to the South, these extreme environments make for a remarkable country. In my opinion, Patagonia is the most beautiful spot on the planet…an otherworldly dreamland of majestic mountains, deep blue glaciers and fairy-tale woodlands, a trek in this remote wilderness will stay with you for life.

When? Chile’s summer months of December to March are warmest and best for trekking. Visit in October and November for Wildflowers.

Diving in the Galapagos

Go Goggle-eyed in the Galapagos

As a wildlife destination, the Galapagos offers a once in a lifetime experience, where adventurous travellers can get extremely close to exotic animals and aquatic life. These isolated islands are home to the marine and land-based animals that have enthralled biologists and nature lovers since Darwin’s day, and the fearless and friendly animals that roam this untouched natural world are in abundance.
Easily one of the best snorkelling spots in the World, there is over 15,000 square miles of protected, marine reserve waters. Unlike Scuba Diving, no special training is required for snorkelling, so if you can swim and breathe through a snorkel, you’re set! I will never forget watching green turtles paddle in front of me as two sea lions were demanding my attention as they circled me then swam up and looked me in the eye. Marine iguanas are warning in the sun, Galápagos penguins dive in, and hammerhead and white-tipped sharks lurk in the depths.

When? Unlike most wildlife destinations, there’s no wrong time to visit & go snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands. There are two distinct seasons in the Galapagos. The dry and cooler season runs from June to November while the wet and warmer season lasts from December through the end of May.

Penguins on South Georgia Island


Sit among King Penguins in South Georgia

When you land on South Georgia, a spectacularly beautiful and remote sub-Antarctic island, you will be amazed at the sight of 300,000 king penguins crowding the beach. These beautiful birds are recognisable by their orange throats and jet black heads. As they stand shoulder to shoulder on this tiny island, you certainly feel like a guest in their home! But they are very welcoming hosts and are often happy to come a little closer and say hello. And it’s not all about penguins, if you want to spend time with the greatest density of wildlife on the planet, you can expect to see seals, petrels, albatrosses, prions and much more.

When? The short expedition season runs from November-March when the sea ice breaks up to allow passage. November offers the chance of also seeing elephant seals on South Georgia, whilst December and January have warmer temperatures and welcome penguin chicks at this time of year.

 

walking safari in Zambia

Walk amongst the wild things in Zambia

The concept of walking safaris was born here, in South Luangwa National Park. One of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and well-known for its World class guides, it is home to some of the highest concentrations of animals in Africa. Don’t be daunted by the prospect of walking, exploring the area on foot makes you really appreciate the bush as you become a part of the landscape. You may stumble upon a baby elephant learning to use its trunk, watch a wallowing hippo or two or stay as still as humanly possible as a Lion watches you through the grass. But you also take the time to learn about the plants, seeds and insects and how they all work so brilliantly together in this fascinating system. So if you’re after a safari that doesn’t just tick off the big 5, walk amongst the animals that call this place home and see how it all fits together, you will not be disappointed.

When? Some camps in Zambia are only open in the dry-season between June and October. As the heat increases towards the end of August, there is a greater concentration of game.

northern lights in scandanaviaBe in awe of the Aurora Borealis whilst Whale watching

Walking out of a bar in Reykjavik, I looked up and caught a glimpse of the northern lights. Despite the light pollution, I could faintly see the beautiful light show that was happening right above me. I stood in awe for a few seconds before the magical lights disappeared, and I made a promise to myself to make a trip one day specifically to see this sight “properly”. There are many places to see this natural phenomenon, but why not combine this with another wonderous experience…whale watching. Take a winter trip aboard a traditional two masted schooner and sail in arctic waters, looking for orcas and humpback whales, which follow the herring shoals at this time of year. Whales by day, northern lights by night…what could be better?

When? Darkness is the key, and nowhere is darker than Scandinavia in winter! Best seen in the Northern Hemisphere between October – March, the closer to the Arctic circle the better.

Peek at Jaguar’s in the Pantanal

Think of a wildlife destination in Brazil and most people would suggest the Amazon. But the Pantanal is Brazil’s less-famous great wilderness…and the best place in the world to spot the elusive Jaguar. Because the Amazon is so dense, often people can be disappointed with what little wildlife they see, but the Pantanal is like the jungle without the trees – wildlife can be easily spotted.  This vast wetland is also home to giant otters, huge caiman, capybara, anteaters, almost 700 hundred bird species and much more. Exploring this wilderness by boat or on foot, you will have the opportunity of seeing very rare and iconic wildlife up-close.

When?  Seasonally flooded in the wet season between December – May, the Pantanal is best visited in winter with September and October usually seen as the best months to visit for Jaguar spotting.

Feel free in the faraway Falklands

With some of the World’s wildest and remote landscapes, the Falkland Islands are a wonderous place and incredibly bio-diverse. A little bit of Britain at the end of the world, the real citizens here are the animals. With 5 penguin species (Kings, Rockhopper, Magellanic, Macaroni and Gentoo), dolphins, whales, sea lions, leopard seals, elephant seals and not to mention over 200 species of birds…if you are after a wildlife trip with a difference, the Falkland’s will not disappoint. Stanley, the capital of East Falkland Island is often at the start of your adventure, with Volunteer point not to be missed…home to the largest colony of King Penguins on all of the islands. Then take a short plane hop to Sea Lion Island, Darwin, Pebble Island, Carcass and West Point Island, each island offering a unique and unforgettable experience.

When? OctoberMarch is generally considered the best time to visit, with the start of the warmer weather bringing new life and later on in the season, the better time for whale watching.

The Icebergs in Greenland's Disko Bay

Dance amongst the Icebergs in Disko Bay, Greenland

Ok, so you might not dance but this is Disko Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its outstanding natural beauty. Greenland is the worlds largest island, with the worlds largest national park, and on the West Coast you will find Illullisat, a harbour town on Disko Bay whose name translates literally to “icebergs”, and you will see why. Disko bay is packed full of beautiful icebergs of all shapes and sizes rising majestically from the sea. And this is just one tiny highlight of this huge island that has so much to offer.

When? Most people visit in summer (May – September) when temperatures can reach a balmy 10 degrees Celsius! Enjoy the midnight sun at this time too, with most areas lit up around the clock from June – July.

See the sunrise over Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia

The climb up this 85m sand dune (in sand no less) will leave you short as breath as you reach the top. Short of breath for the climb you have just experienced but also short of breath when you see the beauty of the sunrise over Sossusvlei. As I watched the sun come up and change the colours of the landscape, the orange of the sunrise combined with the rust-red of the Dunes was so intense and I remember feeling lost in that moment, whilst nature showed just how beautiful she can be. Just one highlight of my trip to Namibia, this is one of my favourite countries as it has everything to offer, fantastic wildlife and national parks, preserved ancient cultures, dramatic landscapes and lovely little seaside towns.

When? A year-round destination, Namibia has over 300 days of sunshine per year! Wildlife can be easier to view in the drier months between May to November.
sloth hanging from a tree in the rain forest of costa rica

Go coco for Costa Rica

As a country, Costa Rica has so much to offer, especially for wildlife enthusiasts! Costa Rica covers 0.03 percent of the earth’s surface, but it contains nearly 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity.  Around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected national parks and protected areas, the largest percentage of protected areas in the world. Sloths, Whales, Turtles, Monkeys, Tapirs and hundreds of bird species…it is packed full of wildlife! If you’re after a bit of adrenalin, try white-water rafting, ziplining and canyoning…just a few of the activities on offer. And with coastlines on both the Pacific and Caribbean, there are many beach spots to relax after a busy trip around this wonderful country.

When? The driest and sunniest time of year to go is between January to April with January and February being the busiest time to go. Temperatures and rainfall can very though with Rainforests, Cloud Forests, mountains and 2 coastlines all battling it out!

Find out more about any of our trips here

Natalie Top Ten Bucket List Trips For 2018

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Lizards on the Galapagos Ecuador Wildlife Spectacular Cruise Cynthia Bressani’s Ecuador/Galapagos Photo Gallery

Cynthia Bressani joined us for another adventure recently. This time Cynthia opted for our ‘Wildlife Spectacular To Ecuador and The Galapagos’. Here she kindly shares her photos from that trip in this beautiful and varied photo gallery.

Thanks for sharing the photos with us Cynthia.

If you’d like to know more about our Galapagos/Ecuador Wildlife Spectacular click here

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Volcano hiking and exciting diving

Part 4

Adding to my previous report of time spent at the Galapagos Islands, I have to say that another captivating moment was watching a small pod of orcas hunting off Fernandina’s coastline. Although their appearance was brief, it brought goose bumps. One orca attempted to snatch a sea lion from the rocky coastline only a few metres from where we were stood receiving a short briefing from our guide Renny about the island’s interesting geology.orcas

These creatures always amaze me with their sheer power and pack mentality which, combined, makes them fearsome predators. However, if I were to pick a non-wildlife moment that took my breath away, it would have to be reaching the summit of Sierra Negra. Sierra Negra, an active volcano on the island of Isabela, rises 1,124m above sea level – and at about six miles wide, its caldera is the world’s second largest.

As we came over the summit, the clouds that had engulfed us for the past couple of hours seemed to part, revealing a vibrant blue sky that provided a perfect backdrop against the green tree line and black volcanic rock.kicker-rock

Our guide stressed how lucky we were to see the sky like this, as it is more commonly hidden in dark rain clouds and mist! The view was undeniably spectacular, and the many photos I took never did it justice. A moment better stored in memory than on an SD card.

I’m a water baby at heart, which is probably why this archipelago resonates so deeply with me. I’ve dived and snorkelled at what are regarded as some of the world’s best sites, but this still has to rank in my top three. Every time I entered the water, there was something remarkable there – from cheeky juvenile sea lions that would grab my fins given half a chance, to the smallest, multi-coloured coral feeders. What great attractions of a diving trip in the Galapagos from WILDFOOT…

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Over the week, we snorkelled with sharks, turtles, penguins, seals, sea lions, eagle rays, marine iguanas and so much more. As with my previous visits to the Galapagos Islands, the time spent in the water was undoubtedly the real highlight for me. I can’t wait to start planning my next trip back here!

 

If you would like to learn more about booking a Galapagos diving trip with WILDFOOT, simply contact our friendly and professional team today.

 

 

Galapagos adventure activities by the Estrella del Mar

Part 3

Having already been out in the Galapagos Islands for almost a week before meeting my new group at the dockside in Puerto Ayora, I felt very at ease with the sea lions and iguanas that seemed unwilling to move out of our way as we tried to board the panga sent to pick us up.

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fur-sea-lion

Our home for the next seven nights was the Estrella del Mar, a spacious eight-cabin boat with a wrap-around deck for maximum wildlife viewing opportunities. The Estrella has seven crew members and a bilingual, certified naturalist with an incredible knowledge of the local wildlife, vegetation and geology. The Estrella is very efficiently run, with two panga boats shuttling the 16 clients back and forth to the islands for wet and dry landings and deep water snorkel dives.

However, more importantly, the crew seem to know how to have fun and add to the trip’s overall enjoyment – their passion and enthusiasm was contagious. The camaraderie among the crew members and their overwhelming desire to please us was very easy to see, leaving me feeling relaxed.panga-majestic

Our cruise took us to the islands of Santa Cruz, Rábida, Santiago, Chinaman’s Hat, Fernandina, Isabela and San Cristóbal, with multiple landings or snorkelling excursions at each. The diversity of each island and each day was just incredible – you never knew what to expect next.

From such an eventful week, it is difficult to isolate just one highlight, but there were a few particularly notable moments. These included watching a group of blue-footed boobies dive-bombing for their dinner on Santiago Island, a ritual almost as mesmerising as their mating dance.

As we stood admiring the beach’s pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs and iguanas, we noticed a small group of boobies congregating in the sky above us. Then, all of a sudden, they dropped together like torpedoes, plunging deep into the water in search of fish. They repeated this spectacular display over and over again, barely pausing to swallow the fish they caught on the previous attempt.flying-boobies

Read the fourth part of this story in the next WILDFOOT blog post. In the meantime, enquire to our team now about the Galapagos adventure activities that will give you memories to last a lifetime.

 

 

Catching sight of amazing wildlife on the Galapagos Islands

Part 2

We enjoy countless intimate and close-up wildlife experiences during our Galapagos stay. However, for me, the highlight is our day at Genovesa. I hear the anchor drop shortly after 5am and get up on deck to see sunrise. I quickly realise that we have stopped in Darwin Bay, the submerged caldera of a dormant volcano.

Embracing ‘the bird island’

As the sun emerges, the sky fills with birds. No wonder it has gained the reputation as ‘the bird island’; within half an hour or so, I am surrounded by frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, red-billed tropicbirds, Nazca boobies and red-footed boobies.

After breakfast, we travel to Prince Philip’s Steps, where we start the trail that winds its way around the island, leading us through huge colonies of mating boobies and frigate birds. Watching these courtship rituals so close up is truly awe-inspiring. Particularly memorable is watching a short-eared owl hunt a petrel in broad daylight, a technique adopted only by owls on the Galapagos.2h3a9275

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Snorkelling among hammerhead sharks

Later that morning, we try to escape the blistering heat by taking to the water – and what a treat is in store for us! James leads us to a shallow piece of water protected by the cliff line. This is known as a cleaning site for hammerhead sharks, and doesn’t disappoint. Within two minutes of being in the water, I quickly spot the outline of a hammerhead shark below me, and then another and another. To snorkel among so many of these wonderful creatures is truly a dream come true.

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Even within this relatively short itinerary, we noticed the striking diversity of the islands’ geology and topography, with each island having its own personality and history. In one day alone, we walked along the red sandy beaches of Rabida, explored the black lava tunnels and formations of Chinese Hat Islet, and snorkelled in crystal clear blue waters full of multi-coloured coral.

Why visit the amazing Galapagos only once?

No two landings on the Galapagos are ever the same, and this wonderful diversity makes the longer itineraries extremely rewarding. I was relieved that, when I finally disembarked the Majestic in San Cristobel, I wasn’t flying home like many of my fellow travellers, but instead had another exciting cruise to join later that day. Thanks to WILDFOOT, Galapagos cruise tours could welcome you, too.

Contact WILDFOOT today for more information about our Galapagos cruise packages, designed to enable you to discover this truly remarkable part of the world.