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.
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.
After a steady hike up to the summit of Bartolome Island, we were rewarded with this panoramic view of Pinnacle Rock.
Kayaking off the coast of Isabela Island was a great way to get up close to the wildlife along the shore.
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.
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.
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.
Watching the sun set from the beach on Floreana Island was the perfect way to end a day of exploring in the Galápagos Islands.