The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean and are one of the most beautiful places on earth. Here, unique animal species and unique plants live and you will encounter those nowhere else in the world. These animals are all very tame and time seems to have stood still here. In total there are 13 large islands and 150 small islands and these islands are located near the equator. I have been on these unique islands for a week and a half and if you are planning to visit the Galapagos islands, it is useful to know a few things in advance so that you can prepare your trip well.
7 things you need to know when you visit the Galapagis Islands.
1. You do not necessarily have to take a cruise
I always thought that you can only discover the Galapagos Islands by making an organized (and very expensive) cruise. But this is not at all correct! Although most tourists visit the archipelago in this way. I have discovered the islands independently and this was fine to do. There are regular boats between the islands and you can easily hop on the island. The various islands have hotels, restaurants and excursion desks and so you have everything you need.
2. The landscape is volcanic
The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago and this creates a particularly rugged landscape. Occasionally there are green plains to be found, but in general the islands consist of a lot of black and lava and rugged vegetation. There are also only a few white sand beaches on the Galapagos Islands.
3. Entrance fee
At the airport of Quito or Guayaquil you always pay twenty dollars and you are registered for your visit to the Galapagos islands. Upon arrival at one of the airports on the Galapagos Islands you pay one hundred dollars per person and this is the entrance fee for the National Park. The money has to be paid in cash and goes entirely to the maintenance of the national park.
4. Maximum number of tourists
The Galapagos Islands are a protected nature area and therefore a maximum number of tourists are allowed to visit this beautiful archipelago every year. This is about 200,000 and this is matched with the number of flights going from Quito and Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands. So as long as there are flights that you can book, the maximum number of tourists has not yet been reached.
5. The flight to the Galapagos Islands
The only way to get to the Galapagos Islands is by flying there and these flights all go via Guayaquil. There are several local airlines that fly to the Galapagos Islands. If you fly from Quito you will never fly directly but via a stop in Guayaquil. Keep in mind that you pay about $400 for a flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.
6. The most beautiful island is Isla Isabela
The largest island in terms of surface area is the island of Isabela. Isabela is a volcanic island full of craters and lava tunnels and was created from six volcanoes. The island has few inhabitants and the largest village consists only of a few unpaved streets and a few small hotels. Las Tintoreras is a small volcanic island that lies just off the coast of Isla Isabela. Here I saw white tip sharks, penguins, blue footed boobies, turtles and all kinds of iguanas. Isla Isabela is my favorite island of the Galapagos!
7. ATM’s on the Galapagos Islands
There is only one ATM on the Galapagos Islands and this can be found on the island of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the main island of the Galapagos Islands and many travelers begin the journey on the Galapagos on the island of Santa Cruz. This island is close to the largest airport in Balta. On Santa Cruz there are several hotels and restaurants and this is also the most lively island and it is also the only island with a cash machine. The most touristic place on this island is Puerto Ayora and this place is the starting point for many cruises.
These are 7 things you need to know before your visit to the Galapagos Islands! Would you like to visit the Galapagos Islands?
There are some lovely and unique hotels to stay at The Galapagos Islands. I loved my stay at Red Mangrove Hotel. The location is amazing as the sea lions swim up onto the deck chairs next to you. The breakfast is delicious with fresh fruit juices.
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