Amazing and mysterious Galapagos
There are places on the planet that attract with their mystery and uniqueness. They include the Galapagos. The archipelago, consisting of several islands of volcanic origin, is located in the Pacific Ocean. This is where the amazing representatives of the fauna live, which can not be found anywhere else.
If you want to plunge into the world of pristine nature and for a few days feel like a part of it - go on vacation here. Only among the giant sea turtles and small dragons - iguanas, on small islands, washed by the majestic ocean, can man realize the futility of life and touch eternity.
Imagine the impressions and emotions that the discoverer survived? They are akin to those experienced by everyone who arrives on the islands, because the animal and plant world of the Galapagos has been preserved to this day.
This fantastic archipelago was discovered in the sixteenth century by a Spanish bishop, information about which is minimal.Only the name of the discoverer, Frey Thomas de Berlang, is known. The first name, fully reflecting all the impressions of the first meeting with the islands - “Charmed” also belongs to him.
How else could one call this a miracle of nature, in which lifeless black pieces of land lost in the ocean could turn into equatorial forests, becoming covered with the emerald green of the tropics? Where on the coast did the huge creatures unprecedented of God leave the waves rolling on the white sand, and the cries of frigates with albatrosses circling over the ocean, could be heard from afar?
Only later, when the archipelago was explored by Spanish sailors, amazed by the number of turtles living here, it was named “Turtle Islands”. This name has survived to our time.
Animal and plant world
The Galapagos are often called fantastic. This corresponds to the truth, because it is combined here, it would seem incompatible. On islands born of fire, representatives of completely opposite flora and fauna, tropical and arctic, peacefully coexist.
Here you can meet bright parrots and strict penguins, tropical birds and arctic gulls, thermophilic dolphins and hardened seals.On the islands grow many plants, from northern mosses to tropical vines. The unique climate and isolation from the outside world served as factors for the emergence of a fantastic world.
Therefore, a scientist arriving at the archipelago has something to study and explore, and a tourist has something to see. By the way, two hundred years ago Charles Darwin, known as the author of the theory of evolution, visited here. Did the visit to the Galápagos have pushed him to this discovery? Perhaps the emergence of the theory was the presence of dragons that survived to this day - sea iguanas, or turtles weighing up to half a ton, which can exist without feeding for a whole year?
In January, thanks to the warm flow of the island, they bloom, striking a riot of emerald greenery and a bright palette of colors. The archipelago is one of the objects of nature protected by UNESCO, and for many years it has been valued by tourists as the main natural landmark of Ecuador.
How to spend time in the archipelago?
The archipelago includes thirteen islands larger and many smaller, several squares in size. It is better to stay on Santa Cruz, the most populous and lived-in, with well-developed tourist infrastructure.In the main city of the island of Puerto Ayora there are good hotels and attractions, so every Galapagos visitor will find something to do at any time of the day.
For example, you can start the day with a rest on the picturesque beach of Tortuga Bay, and end it with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center. Or go to the center, which is engaged in breeding turtles. Or visit the lava caves.
There are other entertainment in the coastal waters of the island. For skating you will be offered yachts and boats, kayaks. For divers, the Galapagos is a paradise on earth. In the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, there is excellent visibility of coral reefs with their unique underwater inhabitants.
Already at a depth of twenty meters you can meet with dolphins and whale sharks, fur seals and lions. The underwater world is rich and diverse, so is ideal for diving. And the lucky ones will be able to boast of meeting with the sea giants - whales.
Note that all this can be done, being only on one island of the archipelago, and there are thirteen! How to manage to grasp the immense and visit at least the largest ones? Very simple - go on a sea cruise.
It is ideal for those who want to see as many islands as possible and the whole archipelago, so to speak “in complex” from the side. But they are completely different and cause completely opposite feelings.
In San Salvador or Bartolome, this is the feeling of a pioneer who stepped onto previously unknown lands and awaiting meeting with mysterious inhabitants, aided by the view of the coastal zone consisting of piles of volcanic rocks with an amazing view of the ocean and its inhabitants - sharks, skates.
On San Cruz, in which cozy coves seemingly stopped time, you can enjoy the beauty of the surrounding world, the aromas of the sea and flowers, and feel truly happy.
All sensations can be taken away with you, unlike any items from the islands. To save this wonder of the world, it is forbidden to disassemble it for souvenirs. Galapagos belong to everyone.
How to get to the archipelago?
Only by plane. Of the public modes of transport is not the most budget, but the only one. Direct flight to the Galapagos is possible from Ecuador.
Three airlines provide the opportunity to fly daily from the airport of Guayaquil to the archipelago,with a travel time of about two hours and the price for tickets in two directions within three hundred and fifty-four hundred and fifty US dollars. The price may vary based on the timing of the purchase and shares from the airlines.
Arrival is carried out at the airports of the two islands. This is Baltra, near Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal. So, to visit the fantastic world, you must first get to Ecuador and, preferably, in the spring. March and April are the perfect time for traveling, when it's not so hot and pleasant to visit the excursion.
Recommendations to travelers
On the trip, you can combine leisure with relaxation, alternating exciting excursions on the sea and land with bliss on the friendly beaches in the company of exotic animals and birds. What to look at the most visited islands of the archipelago?
About Santa Cruz mentioned earlier, but I want to note that life in Puerto Ayora is alive. There are many fairs with souvenirs, an active night pastime, colorful festivals, a surfing diving center. On Isabella Island, the largest in size, the main attraction is the crater of a volcano with a diameter of ten kilometers, the largest on the planet - the progenitor of all parts of the archipelago.
It is on Isabella is located the largest (again, on the planet!) Colony of turtles - giants. From here it is easy to reach the island of San Cristobal with a luxurious fauna. Lovers of eco-tourism will meet on it the largest number of animals and birds in natural conditions, not afraid of people.
The beaches can be inhabited by sharks, so their visit is better to avoid, and spend time getting to know the colonial architecture of the town of Playa de Oro. Hispaniola Island is famous for excursions to places of observation of albatrosses in the immediate vicinity and dances of blue-footed boobies in the mating season.
Among urban industrial landscapes, golden beaches and endless expanses of the ocean, majestic Andes and dormant volcanoes, cozy bays with azure water and a mysterious tropical forest will long be remembered. No amount of money in the world is worth the unforgettable experience of visiting the Galapagos!