The Galapagos Islands were on top of Anna’s and my list when it came to planning this trip. We’ve stayed for two weeks with a five day cruise at the beginning and some free travelling at the end. The cruise was an interesting experience – we had the feeling that we were bringing down the average age on the boat by approximately 20 years (talk about stereotypes). That said, it was a marvellous experience with excellent, knowledgeable guides, some great snorkelling with sea lions, turtles, rays and sharks and a lot of excursions at places which we otherwise wouldn’t have reached. The whole archipelago is a national park with limited access for visitors, who are only allowed to visit designated locations and only in company of an official Galapagos tour guide (they call them naturalists there). Watch the little clip to get an impression of what we could experience.
Obviously, the individually perceived highlights varied: Molly loved the baby turtles, Max fell in love with surfing and Anna and I were awed by being able to see (strange) wildlife so close across the board. Despite a few hundred years of contact with human beings the local animals have managed to maintain their fearless approach to life – on one hand due to the fact that hardly any animal has natural predators in the area, on the other hand it seems that the numerous visitors, which have been streaming in over the past 10 years (estimated about 200,000/year), have managed to behave themselves. That leaves hope.