The Galapagos Islands are perhaps one of those places you’ve always thought about visiting, but never thought it possible. Given the extraordinary efforts to protect the islands, it should come as no surprise that tourist numbers are generally quite limited. The islands had 267,688 visitors in 2022, which means numbers seem to be bouncing back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
This is thanks in part to the cruise ship boom, of which the likes of the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica are now open, albeit to limited numbers due to the ecological impact of too many tourists. The best tip we can give here is to keep that in mind, and to take care when walking around this absolute marvel.
As for the cruises, Silversea cruises offer a variety of packages that will offer you the once in a lifetime experience you’ve been craving, with a surprisingly sizable amount of amenities on board. You’ll always have something to get your teeth stuck into.
What are the Galapagos Islands?
For those that perhaps don’t know their geography, the Galapagos Islands are located some way off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, with Ecuador being the country that the archipelago belongs to. Its capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, though its population is a mere 6,672. As for the island, it boasts around 33,042 people.
It’s made up of 21 islands, 18 of which are considered major islands, and serves as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, primarily due to its extraordinary biodiversity. This is where Charles Darwin based a great deal of his research after all. We have a lot to thank the Galapagos Islands for.
The islands are also named for their giant tortoises, with the word deriving from the word turtle, and these alone are worth venturing to the island for. They can live for 200 years after all, and where else can you find such incredible creatures who’ve lived through historical periods unknown to any of us.
Important things to consider
Given its location more or less on the equator, the sun can be incredibly strong, so sun protection is an absolute must. You may be able to wing it in the UK, but it’s imperative to keep yourself sun safe here, and also drink plenty of water. You’ll be hiking constantly, so drink all the fluids you can.
Similarly, make sure you pack a first-aid kit given the remoteness of the location. It’s not as if there’ll be immediate access to any medical care, so such a trip is not for those looking for a convenient and all-inclusive kind of getaway. You’ll also want to reserve well in advance, given how popular the islands are. This point shouldn’t be surprising in truth, as the Galapagos Islands are truly one of a kind.
Above all, never feed the animals – they should be left alone, as feeding them can actually cause a lot more harm than you may realise. Obey all the rules in place, as they exist for a good reason. It will be a very different experience to anything you’ve been used to in the past, but the Galapagos Islands will truly knock your socks off.