The Galápagos Islands abound with activities for travelers who seek adventure in the remote archipelago, where 97% of the land is preserved in a natural park. Covering approximately 3,087 square miles—in terrain alone, not counting the surrounding marine reserve—the National Park is only accessible in the company of a licensed naturalist, ensuring that you will learn from the fascinating environment around you. With Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, their expert naturalists including certified photo instructors, undersea specialists, and field educators help expand your options for exploration in this fascinating part of the world.
Fifteen distinct Galápagos tortoise species once populated the islands, 12 species remaining, one of the conservation successes in the islands. Rancho Manzanillo, located up in the highlands Santa Cruz Island, is one of the best spots to see these gentle giants, where they roam freely.
Whatever ornithological adventure you’re imagining, the Galápagos is better. Due to the nature of the archipelago’s famously fearless birds, your sightings will change as you move throughout the islands—but keep your binoculars up on San Cristobal for red-footed boobies, on Fernandina for flightless cormorants, on North Seymour Island for blue footed-boobies and frigatebirds, and on Española for the waved albatross, swallow-tailed gulls, and mockingbirds.
As whales, dolphins, and sharks swim beside the ship, you’ll mark this milestone with a champagne toast and a ceremony on deck. For anyone who loves to travel, crossing the Equator is a true bucket-list item.
The Galápagos recently announced they've expanded the Galápagos Marine Reserve, to conserve more than 23,000 square miles of ocean around the Galápagos Islands and beyond, which means undersea animals are better protected now than ever before. This is one of the best places in the world to see green sea turtles, the only species of marine turtle to nest in the islands. You'll almost certainly see them grazing in shallow waters throughout the archipelago.
Darwin isn’t the only luminary to have brought the Galápagos into the public imagination. Pack a copy of Herman Melville’s The Encantadas in your luggage to see the islands through the eyes of the famed Moby Dick author. If you’re interested in the swashbuckling side of Galápagos history, cruise along the red cliffs overlooking Buccaneer Cove on Santiago Island, where 17th and 18th-century British privateers once sought refuge. Three hundred years later, you can still drop a letter at Post Office Bay in Floreana, a local oddity devised in the 1700s by whalers stopping by the islands to provision their ships.
Taken from a Lindblad Expeditions article by Kate Winick
A Lindblad-National Geographic expedition is arguably one of the most exhilarating experiences a person can have. Few travel experiences come close to approximating its authenticity and all-five-senses engagement. Discover the planet's most remarkable places, accompanied by experts who can shed light on the things you see, with expedition tools to use along the way, so you can explore up close and personally.
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