The most beautiful of the Galapagos Islands is its flora and fauna. The archipelago has a fascinating and unique wildlife that you will not find anywhere else. And, the best thing about the islands is that, because of the absence of predator, the animals of the Galapagos are used to human presence, so you can find them really close to you while doing excursions in the islands.
Here, there is a list of the top 5 animals you will see on board of any of our first class Galapagos cruises.
You will fall in love with these friendly prehistoric creatures. The Galapagos tortoises are divided into 14 subspecies, which differ in the shape and size of the shell. The most famous and representative is the Galapagos giant tortoises. The Galapagos are the largest turtles in the world, measuring up to 1.60 m long and weigh up to 250 kg.
When you visit the Galapagos on the cruise itinerary to the islands it is very common to find these turtles, especially in the upper parts of the islands and on the breeding centers, where these endangered species are well cared.
On some islands it is very common to see them on the rocks, with their slow and balanced step. The Galapagos penguin is one of the endemic birds of the islands and one of the smallest penguins in the world and you can usually find them on the islands of Fernandina, Isabela, Floreana, Bartolome and Santiago, and on rocks and islets near these islands. This species of penguin is the only one found in the northern hemisphere (in the northern part of Isabela) and in the equator.
When visiting the Galapagos Islands, one of the first species striking are the sea lions. They are found swimming around the Galapagos cruises, walking awkwardly on the beach, resting in the sand or even on the benches of the port. Sea lions are everywhere, with its characteristic brown color (females are usually lighter than males) and their ‘barking’. You will always find them in groups and males are larger: it is very easy to distinguish them because usually there is one of them among several females, as each male has a large harem of females.
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The Galapagos finches (or Darwin finches) are one of the endemic and unique species of the islands. These small birds captivated Charles Darwin when he visited the islands in 1835. Darwin was a young naturalist and noticed that the finches from different islands differ one from despite belonging clearly to the same family. These differences found between the various finches were one of the arguments that inspired Darwin to formulate his theory of evolution of species.
When visiting the beaches on board any of our Galapagos cruises it is impossible not to be surprised with the iguanas, which are creatures of prehistoric appearance that blend in with the rocks and walk slowly through the sand. One can spend hours watching their behavior. Iguanas can spend hours in the sun, but this is not due to inactivity, it is a behavior that allows them to keep heat soak then in water (in fact, the dark color of some species contributes to this). Marine iguanas feed primarily on algae obtained from the sea and can dive to a depth of 15 meters for up to 45 minutes, then return to the beach to continue resting on the rocks.
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The Galapagos islands are one of the most important natural paradises in the world. This is the main reason why thery were declared Natural Heritage in 1978 and then a Biosphere Reserve. Today, the Galapagos attract the interest not only of scientists but thousands of tourists interested in watching and enjoying the unique flora and fauna, especially endemic species than cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. So, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of our Galapagos last minute cruises and enjoy a trip of a lifetime!