If you’re craving an exotic and adventurous vacation unlike any other, then you’ll want to visit the Galapagos. With breathtaking and unique scenery, the Galapagos Islands showcase the true beauty of nature. They are also a great place to spot wildlife, including sea lions, Blue Footed Boobies, giant tortoises, and pre-historic marine iguanas!
Made up of 127 different islands, the archipelago is only 1,000km from Ecuador, making it a great stop-off when visiting the country. Or if you want a truly unforgettable experience, and to see several different islands in one go, then you could book onto one of the Galapagos cruises that are on offer. Frequently recommended as a cruise destination for adventure, you could wake up every day on a new island each day, ready to explore!
But if you’re not sure which islands should be at the top of your list, here are our top 5 islands to visit in the Galapagos:
1. San Cristobal
First up on the list is San Cristobal. The oldest island in the Galapagos geologically and one of the most spoken about islands by Charles Darwin, it has several key attractions that are worth seeing whilst you’re there. For example, there’s Point Carola Beach. A horseshoe-shaped beach, it’s the perfect place to stop off and try to spot iguanas, seals and sea turtles.
Within easy reach of Point Carola is the capital of the province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Located on the southwestern coast, this quaint waterfront town offers delicious restaurants, shops and cafes. It’s also a popular place for adventure activities such as surfing and scuba diving – perfect for those thrill seekers out there!
Alternatively, you could head to Warlock Hill and Kicker Rock. Frequently offered as an excursion on cruises, these are part of the San Cristobal Volcano and are certainly Instagram-worthy!
2. Baltra Island
A small island in the Galapagos, Baltra Island (also known as South Seymour) has rugged hills and turquoise waters that will take your breath away. A popular stop off on Galapagos cruises and one of the recommended cruise destinations for adventure, it’s within easy reach of Puerto Ayora and Santa Cruz island. Once serving as a U.S military base protecting the Panama Canal from enemy attack, the cactus-strewn landscape has a vast array of wildlife to see, including land iguanas and Galapagos finches.
3. Rabida Island
Next up on the list is Rabida Island. A small island south of Santiago, it’s best known for its red sand and craggy volcanic landscape. Home to a colony of pelicans, sea lions and seabirds, the beautiful beach on the island is the perfect place to swim or snorkel! Another popular cruise stop, you’ll feel like you’re on another planet the moment you step onto it.
4. Santiago Island
With its sandy beaches, black rocks and blue water grottoes, Santiago Island is a must-see when visiting the Galapagos. Whilst you’re there, you should head over to Sullivan Bay, where you can see the remains of a volcanic eruption in the early 1900s. A geological wonderland, a morning walk to the bay is simply unforgettable. Alternatively, you can head over to Egas Port and spend your time gazing at the adorable Galapagos fur seals.
5. Santa Cruz Island
And last but not least, Santa Cruz Island. Perhaps the most popular of the Islands, it’s home to the Charles Darwin Research Station and National Park Service, where they breed tortoises. Whilst on the island, you could also take a bus ride to the Highlands and see the giant tortoises in the wild and walk through a lava tunnel!
The Inner Loop vs The Outer Loop
There are two different routes you can take when exploring the islands. Cruise ships tend to either do the inner loop or the outer loop, and each of the routes gives you a chance to see something different.
Firstly, the inner loop will take you westward, and give you the chance to see Daphne Island, Santiago Island, Rabida Island, and Isabela Island among other islands. The best route to see the blue-footed boobies and a photographer’s dream, you’ll see sights unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The outer loop, however, works around the archipelago clockwise. On this loop, you’ll see Floreana Island, Moreno Point on Isabel Island, and Santa Cruz Island among other islands. The best route in which to see the waved albatross, dramatic volcanic landscapes, and pristine white beaches, you’ll create memories here that will last a lifetime.
Of course, there are other islands you can visit such as Daphne Island and North Seymour Island, but the above are the top 5 islands that should be on your list when exploring the Galapagos. A truly remarkable place to visit and a top cruise destination for adventure, they are not only every nature-lover’s dream but a destination that not many people visit each year – making it feel untouched.
Galapagos is one of the best cruise destinations. You won’t find big ocean liners full of tourists on the Galapagos cruises. Some of the best Galapagos Cruise ships are specially designed and dedicated to being at one with the environment. These are environmentally friendly cruises for nature and adventure lovers!
Book one of the Galapagos cruises that are on offer and see for yourself the incomparable beauty of these recommended cruise destinations for adventure!