If you are deciding between a cruise and a land-based tour, one of the most important considerations is what animals you can see.
Going on a cruise will take you to farther-flung, remote places in the archipelago. Staying on land gives you an opportunity to see the “real Galapagos,” SCUBA dive, and come back to a comfortable hotel room at the end of the day. This video shows the highlights of time on a land tour, and staying in a hotel in the Galapagos.
Where I went
I took the Darwins Footprints tour with Red Mangrove, a hotel-based tour that took me to sites on Santa Cruz and Isabela. I also took a SCUBA diving tour at North Seymour for a day. I stayed several extra nights in the hotel and explored places within walking and taxi distance independently – downtown Puerto Ayora, Las Grietas swimming hole, Tortuga Bay, Playa de la Estacion on Santa Cruz, and Laguna Salinas on Isabela.
Animals I saw while island-hopping in the Galapagos
As you see, the Galapagos never ceases to amaze. You can never exactly predict what you will see, because wildlife varies so much by season and luck. Nonetheless, you can see how many different animals I have seen island-hopping. Not all of these made it into the video, but you can get an idea.
- Giant tortoises
- Marine iguanas
- A land iguana
- Lava lizards
- Sally light-foot crabs
- Blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies
- Frigate birds
- Tons of different types of finches
- Galapagos Penguins
- More tropical fish than I can name
- Sea turtles
- Stingrays, eagle rays, golden rays, and manta rays
- White-tipped reef sharks
- Sea lions
Video highlights of my trip
Which animals do you most want to see on your Galapagos vacation? Please share by commenting on this post.