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Jacada Photo Journal: Galápagos Islands

My trip to the Galápagos Islands was even better than I could ever have imagined. I’ve travelled all over South America, but these beautiful islands quickly became my favourite destination on the continent. The extreme isolation of the archipelago means it is home to unique flora and fauna you won’t find anywhere else in the world.  From snorkelling with penguins to spotting giant tortoises in the wild and exploring giant cactus forests, every part of this journey was incredible. Here are some of my favourite photos.

Galapagos sea lion, Lily Bunker.
Swimming with sea lions is a highlight of any trip to the Galápagos.

Snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters of the Galápagos marine reserve was the number one highlight of my trip. I swam alongside playful sea lion pups, majestic sea turtles, marvellous marine iguanas, and even saw a penguin or two.

Galapagos sea lion, Lily Bunker.
The sea lions of the Galápagos are playful and curious.
Galapagos sea turtle, Lily Bunker.
Snorkelling with a turtle.
Galapagos sea lion, Lily Bunker.
A sea lion on the beach.

After a steady hike up to the summit of Bartolome Island, we were rewarded with this panoramic view of Pinnacle Rock.

Bartolome Island, Galapagos, Lily Bunker
Bartolome Island.

Kayaking off the coast of Isabela Island was a great way to get up close to the wildlife along the shore.

Kayaking, Isabela Island, Galapagos, Lily Bunker.
Kayaking.

Marine iguanas are endemic to the Galápagos Islands. These lizards have developed the unique adaptation of foraging for food in the sea. As they are cold blooded, they can usually be found sunning themselves on rocky beaches.

Marine iguanas, Galapagos, Lily Bunker.
Marine iguanas sunbathing.
Darwin Lake, Galapagos, Lily Bunker.
Darwin Lake.

A short but steep hike on Isabela Island provides a fantastic view over Darwin Lake. This beautiful emerald lake sits within a tuff cone, and remarkably it has a higher salinity than the ocean.

Giant tortoise, Galapagos, Lily Bunker.
A Galápagos tortoise.

Galápagos tortoises are the most iconic species of the archipelago. It was the saddle-back shelled tortoises that inspired early Spaniards to name these islands the Galápagos Islands (galápago is an old Spanish word meaning tortoise or turtle). There are approximately 15,000 tortoises scattered throughout the islands and populations are rising thanks to breeding and release projects.

Giant tortoise, Galapagos, Lily Bunker.
Giant tortoises are among the longest-living animals in the world.

Watching the sun set from the beach on Floreana Island was the perfect way to end a day of exploring in the Galápagos Islands.

Floreana Island, Galapagos, Lily Bunker.
Sunset on Floreana Island.

If you’d like to find our more about travelling to the Galápagos Islands, please get in touch. I’d be thrilled to share more about my trip and help create a similar experience for you.