Start planning your wildlife tour in the Galapagos Islands
When it comes to wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are in a league of their own. The islands offer incredible wildlife watching opportunities, from spotting sea-dwelling lizards to majestic giant tortoises.
What makes Galapagos Islands' wildlife unique?
The Galapagos Islands are home to a large number of species found nowhere else in the world. This archipelago of 11 islands was never attached to the mainland, and was instead created by volcanoes. All the animals living here have evolved independently from the rest of the world, making it a truly special wildlife destination and a real adventure for visitors. The remoteness of these islands, combined with the very particular environmental conditions, have led to an amazingly diverse and utterly unique range of species.
The best places for wildlife tours in Galapagos
On any good wildlife tour of the Galapagos Islands, you are guaranteed to see incredible animals, including colorful birds, ancient-looking reptiles, or spectacular marine life. Here’s what to look out for.
See the Galapagos finches: evolution in action
Collectively known as “Darwin's finches” for having inspired the great naturalist's research into evolution, 15 species of finch live on the Galapagos Islands. Each of the species is different with their unique beaks adapted to different food sources.
Meet the giant tortoises
One of the most famous inhabitants of this archipelago is the Galapagos giant tortoise. These tortoises live on most of the islands and are one of the world's longest living animals, with most being older than 100 years.
Watch swimming iguanas
Perhaps the most intriguing animal found on the Galapagos Islands is the marine iguana. These reptiles are especially unusual because they are the only living species of lizard which can live on both land and in the sea. Marvel at these water-loving lizards that can dive up to 30 feet below the surface.
Spot beautifully bright birds
Along with the famous finches, visitors will spot other fascinating bird species here, such as the frigate birds with their striking red gular pouch. Other brightly colored species include the blue-footed boobies with their striking aquamarine feet.
Swim with turtles
Green sea turtles nest on many of the Galapagos Islands' beaches, and they are commonly seen when snorkeling in the waters around the islands. Along with these large turtles, snorkelers can also see colorful parrot fish, puffer fish, angelfish, and more.
What’s the best time of year for a wildlife tour in Galapagos?
The Galapagos has two main seasons: it’s cool and dry from June to November, and the warmer season from December to June. The warm season is the best time to visit, as the seas are calmer and the temperatures good for swimming. There’s good visibility for spotting marine life during the warm season, too.