Why are the Galapagos Islands a great destination for experiential travel?
An archipelago consisting of 22 remote islands located right along the equator, 1000 kilometers (620 miles) from the coastline of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are an incredible destination for experiential travel. Stunning endemic species that visitors can easily interact with, otherworldly landscapes that appear to have been forgotten by the hand of time, daily activities that lead visitors into a world of discovery, and the inherent safety of the Galapagos truly make it one of the world’s foremost options for experiential travelers.
Interacting with endemic biodiversity and unique wildlife
Due to the sheer remoteness of the Galapagos Islands, the species found there have evolved over time to adapt to their unique environments, leading to Charles Darwin´s renowned theory of evolution. Despite the fact that the Galapagos were historically used to restock food stores aboard ships crossing the Pacific, nearly pushing some species to extinction, hunting and fishing in the Galapagos has been prohibited for more than 50 years. Therefore, the incredible wildlife on the islands simply does not fear humans, which means that visitors can get up close to the different species and even interact with some of the friendly sea lions found lounging on the shores!
Landscapes that revive your senses
Sailing in the Galapagos is an amazing, sometimes surreal experience. Each of the 22 islands are completely different from one another, and given the fact that more than 95% of the landmass in the archipelago is completely untouched by man, it seems like time has come to a complete halt.
The sparkling blue waters, jet black volcanic rock, olive green grass, bushes and trees, and bright white sand are incredibly refreshing – 360o panoramic views of pristine, unbridled nature, 24 hours a day. At night, the sky is filled with countless stars and moonlight bathing the islands and calm waters in soft light, inspiring, replenishing, and restoring our inner being.
Different Ecosystems in one place
The Galapagos Islands host many different micro-climates, each one home to unique plant and animal species. The convergence of three major ocean currents not only brings an astounding mix of marine life to the archipelago, it also brings different weather patterns to different parts of the Galapagos. From mangrove swamps along to the shore of the islands to the arid land dotted with towering cacti, to transition zones where taller trees are found, to the miconia zone that hosts shrubs and other low-lying vegetation, to the moist, cool highlands on the uppermost parts of the islands, there is an extremely high level of diversification on each island, making the archipelago a veritable treasure chest of endemic biodiversity.
Thanks to strict marine safety regulations that are regularly updated by the Ecuadorian Navy, booking a cruise in the Galapagos is inherently safe. Most vessels ensure that there are always multiple crew members on board who receive regular, advanced first-aid training in case of any possible medical emergency. Even small vessels are well-stocked with standard medications and treatments that could be required. Similarly, expeditions are always made with certified Natural Park guides who have also received first-aid training.
The small population centers on Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Isabela islands are also very safe. Given the common “everyone knows everybody” reality of small isolated communities, crime rates in the archipelago are virtually non-existent, meaning that visitors can relax and fully enjoy their time on all of the islands.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s last remaining natural jewels, nearly devoid of the manmade destruction wrought on much of the planet. The archipelago takes visitors on a magical journey of revival, restoration, and reconnection with themselves and nature, making it the ultimate destination in experiential travel.