Giant tortoises, penguins, boobies, sea lions, marine iguanas…the list of wildlife found on the Galapagos Islands goes on and on. While I will probably always take ancient ruins and historic buildings over the “great outdoors,” the Galapagos Islands is hardly that. It offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world, and is home to incredibly beautiful and interesting animals (hello-150 year old tortoises?) some of which are completely unafraid of humans. The Frommers Ecuador guidebook notes that “mockingbirds will hop onto your shoes and sea lions will do figure-eights to show off their swimming prowess as you snorkel among them.” Although I’ve read that sea lions have a
slightly incredibly strong odor to them (as one site said, it’s not perfume), I still would love to see them, out in the open, just going about their daily business and deciding where they want to go to.
While I’ve only gotten sea sick once in my life (if you’ve ever crossed the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco from Spain I’m sure you can commiserate), I don’t really have interest in doing a cruise around the islands. I’ve learned from research that depending on the time of year you go, the waters around the islands can be incredibly rocky and not a lot of touring ships are big in size which means there’s not going to be a lot of protection from any unsettling movements (i.e. the Queen Elizabeth Two is not going around the Galapagos). I’ve discovered hotels in which you can take day trips to neighboring islands and this seems like a good idea to me.
Although hotels on the Galapagos are somewhat expensive as well as airfare getting to them, it’s a trip that hopefully one day I can go on. While I’m hardly an animal nut, I think that the Galapagos would make anyone go ga ga for its native residents.