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10 Interpretations of Galapagos Art: What do You See?

Ecuador and the Galapagos are very inspiring! The landscapes and the animals are breathtaking and have inspired many artists over the years.

On my recent Galapagos tour I decided to carry out a fun little project centered around a rather striking piece of Galapagos art.

What do you see in this picture?

This painting is hanging in the reception area of the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge in Puerto Ayora. As a fun psychology experiment, write down or decide what this picture represents or symbolizes to you. Then see what Red Mangrove staff and other Galapagos travelers said!

Galapagos art at the Red Mangrove

What is your interpretation?

Did you write your interpretation?

Scroll down to see what others said.

Answers from real Red Mangrove staff and Galapagos travelers

  1. It looks like a directional compass, North, South, East, West, right? And it’s an eye inside a directional rose. It’s like nature is always watching us, taking care of us and we must do the same. Otherwise that cactus with the spines can hurt us, if we don’t take care of the plant. That’s why it’s watching you – North, South, East….
  2. We have heard that that is the Hindu eye of protection. We are not sure what the origin is, but some of the guests who are really into this said this is the Hindu eye of protection.
  3. It looks like a cactus, like an herbal plant. I would say because of the flowers, they are orchids. It could be a syncretism, an adaptation from some culture, like the eye of some culture adapted to the Galapagos culture. The eye and the star has to be from another culture. It’s an eye, and the eye is watching, for the good energies, welcoming.
  4. The artwork makes me believe that someone is always watching us.
  5. For me the picture means abundance, because it has green all over and plants, and it means prosperity. The light is in contact with all the people, through the eye. What it represents is having contact with all the people.
  6. It looks like a cactus that goes towards the center, where a flower blooms. In the middle of the flower you find the principal element of the painting, which is the inner beauty of a person, looking out, where you see the eye of someone.
  7. It is a hidden camera.
  8. I see a compass taking you where you need to go in life.
  9. It shows how man can go down in the ocean and be part of the alternative life.
  10. It looks to me like an all-seeing eye, an Ecuadorean all-seeing eye, and it looks like it’s part of the Red Mangrove here, and it looks like it could be maybe a supreme being keeping an eye out on things.

What do you think it means?

Is your interpretation the same?


Completely unique?

Tell us in comments!

About the author: Lisa Cho Lisa Cho is an expat living in Ecuador, originally from San Francisco, California. She writes about the Galapagos Islands on the Red Mangrove Galapagos Travel Blog and about her mainland Ecuador adventures on

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