Travel bucket lists are a very personal thing, but when it comes to travel destinations, there seems to be a few reoccurring favorites that show up on most travelers’ wish lists, such as the Galapagos Islands. About 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, this off-the-beaten-path area is known for its amazing wildlife and untouched landscape. Today, guest contributor and travel photographer, Dennis Calhoun, is here to tell us about his recent adventure to this unique destination.
Do you enjoy a challenge? Are you interested in seeing an amazing variety of wildlife? If so, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador may be just right for your next exciting travel adventure. Only a few of the fourteen most significant islands in the volcanic archipelago have any inhabitation.
Most people who visit these isolated islands start by joining a tour. Most of the tours are via air travel to Quito, Ecuador and then a short flight to a small airfield in Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. The airfield is there because this was once a US Military base during WWII.
The blue-footed boobies prefer rocky shorelines, so it can be tricky getting a good shot from the bouncy panga.
After your arrival at Baltra, you will be taken to your ship in a small rubber boat, called a panga. Most days you will enjoy two excursions to the islands for photography, swimming, snorkeling or walking. Sometimes kayaking opportunities are available. On one of the islands, iron oxide leaching into the lava sand on the beach gives the sand a distinctive red color.
The island is also known for its magnificient giant tortoises. Thanks to efforts by Ecuador to breed them and release them, they are starting to come back in large numbers.
Many of the landings are wet landings, meaning that you must walk from the small panga to the land in shallow ocean water. This may sound simple, but it can be challenging when the surf is rough and you are trying to protect camera equipment. Sometimes the footing is a bit rough, but the opportunity to see the wildlife up close is worth it.
Although planning a visit to the Galapagos Islands can be a bit daunting, it’s an amazing destination. Plan accordingly and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
Have you ever explored the Galapagos Islands? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts.