EXCITING NEW EXPERIENCES FOR GALAPAGOS TRAVEL
Are you planning a Galapagos Island visit to nature’s Eden and the world’s most enchanting destination? The Galapagos wildlife is teeming on almost every island and they have no fear of humans. The weather is fantastic year-round and the seawater is always inviting! Of course, you can’t forget the amazing volcanic landscapes either.
Additionally, Galapagos travel is one of the safest destinations in the world at the moment. There are no cases of Covid-19, the islands are now, even more, the most perfect destination to visit! You can be sure you are traveling to Galapagos safely. You can see more about Gulliver Expeditions protocols and those of the Galapagos Islands on our Covid Travel Protocol page.
A NEW WAY TO VISIT GALAPAGOS
But there are so many tours and Galapagos travel packages that it can be overwhelming to choose which is best. And, even though the Galapagos are ever-changing with constant volcanic action, it has changed even more now that we are traveling during Covid. You’ll want to look for something extra special to enhance your trip. Make your time in Galapagos one to remember with exciting activities and new experiences you can do without having to travel in a group!
Garrapatero Beach, Santa Cruz Island
You may have heard about the popular beaches of Playa Brava and Playa Mann, both located in Tortuga Bay in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. Consequently, both beaches do have many visitors.
Therefore, a great beach away from the crowds is Garrapatero Beach! It is a beautiful place to visit and enjoy both the beach and the water. The hike lets you view the local flora and fauna at your own pace. You can even bike to the beach if you are looking to be more active. Snorkeling can easily be done with your snorkeling gear. If you are looking to be on the cautious side considering Covid travel, there are washrooms and facilities. Here you can change, wash your hands and use the restroom at any time.
Exploring Galapagos on the water is one of the most amazing activities possible. You can look down through the clear waters and see an array of wildlife. Tropical fish, manta rays, sea turtles, playful sea lions, and even sharks can be viewed! Kayaking in Galapagos will mean a solo activity that you can enjoy with peace of mind. The equipment is easy to use and easy to clean, and you don’t have to be part of a group to enjoy it. Kayaking can be enjoyed on any of the three main Galapagos Islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal.
Adventure is Great, Coffee is Even Better
Did you know that the Galapagos Islands are also known for their coffee? Not all great coffee is grown at high altitudes! During your visit to Galapagos, we highly recommend you try a cup of joe from organic, locally-grown coffee beans. Currently, Galapagos coffee is only grown on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.
What makes the coffee here so great? Well, since the coffee is grown at a low altitude and in a warm environment, the coffee bean becomes sweeter. Coffee from Columbia or the Ecuadorian Andes, and even Panama grow at higher altitudes. Therefore, it results in a hard and dense coffee bean that is more bitter.
You can also feel really good about drinking Galapagos coffee or even purchasing a bag to bring home. As a result, you will be supporting the local business!
Galapagos Dining Experiences
In this section, we are going to cover the amazing gastronomy of the Galapagos. Firstly, you should know that if you love seafood, you are in the right place. Secondly, it does not get any fresher! Lastly, there are no Covid cases in the Galapagos. Nevertheless, all restaurants and establishments will continue to follow all biosecurity and health codes for your benefit. Therefore, you can feel safe and comfortable eating at a restaurant anywhere in Galapagos.
If you want a first-hand look at where your dinner will likely come from, it is highly suggested to visit the entertaining fisherman’s market! In Puerto Ayora, the fisherman gathers their morning’s catch and prepare it to sell. Surely, you’ll find an interesting audience with the pelicans and sea lions begging for scraps!
There are some great restaurants in Puerto Ayora. Above all, a few of our favorite locations that will blow you away are the Bahia Mar, Isla Grill, and Garrapatero. To sum it up, these three are best for providing the local feel with great views and menus.
For example, the Garrapatero is perfect if you are looking to grab a nice cool drink or fresh salad to hold you over until a late lunch or dinner. Afterward, you have to make time to visit both Bahía Mar and Isla Grill. Similarly, both of these locations are found on the waterfront in Puerto Ayora. Surely you will be treated to both dinner and a nature show. In other words, be prepared to watch the sun setting on the beautiful Academy Bay while the birds fly to and fro and the sea lions frolic in the waters justify in front of you! You may even have to share the deck with a few marine iguanas, but they usually mind their own business!
Charles Darwin Research Station
A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station is a must while you are in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. You can walk to the interpretation center during your Galapagos visit from anywhere in Puerto Ayora. You will pass by local shops, cafes, and restaurants. You might even walk by some curious sea lions, marine iguanas, finches, and pelicans along the way!
Just before you arrive, you’ll pass by the Playa Estacion. Many locals use this spot during their lunchtime breaks or days off on the weekend. During the week you can use it as a quick spot to get some beach time when there may be fewer people visiting.
A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station is one of the most important stops you can make if you want to make a difference in the islands. You don’t need a guide to tour the station, and you’ll learn so much interesting info on the Galapagos Islands, including the purpose of the research station.
Mainly, they are here to share the accumulated knowledge of the 60 years of scientific research they’ve produced. They have made a rotating exhibit in the various buildings and the self-guided trails lead you along fun and interactive park interpretation models on Galapagos flora and fauna and the geological and natural history of the islands.
Further inside the station, you can even see Galapagos Tortoises endemic to other islands such as Fernandina, Isabela, and others. They are here for research and rehabilitation purposes, as well as breeding programs. The breeding programs are very important as the main objective is to restore the original populations of the tortoises on each island before they were taken advantage of by pirates and sailors, taking them off the islands to store on their ships as meat for long voyages. They did this because the tortoises could survive for extended periods with no food or water.
But most of all, the most important reason to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which is part of the Charles Darwin Foundation, is because their efforts are what continue to protect the biodiversity and fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands.
For every visitor to the Galapagos Islands, it is an added resource to continue battling invasive species, illegal fishing, and further research toward understanding the unique flora and fauna of the archipelago. And, every donation received by the Charles Darwin Foundation, is counted towards all scientific projects as this is what they depend on to continue funding the research. The passion for the islands is what continues to keep them protected now and in the future.
Overall, the Galapagos can surely provide you with an experience you’ll never forget. This is the same no matter what you do or where you go on the islands. However, if you are looking for new experiences off the typical tourist path and want to feel safe at the same time, follow these blog ideas! Gulliver Expeditions even has a Galapagos Travel Experiences Program specifically designed with the above visitor sites in mind. It’s easy to travel when you have the experts helping you, step by step! Call or write to us today!