Pink flamingos on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands (Stewart Gregory/Photodisc/Getty)

California sea lions on the Galapagos Islands (Photodisc)

Frigatebird on the Galapagos Islands (PhotoDisc)

Sea Lions on Espanola Island, Galapagos Islands (Michael Melford/National Geographic)

Scalloped Hammerhead shark on the Galapagos Islands (Sami Sarkis/Photographers Choice)

Blue-footed booby on the Galapagos Islands (PhotoDisc)

Galapagos, Islands, in, Ecuador (Design Pics)

Pinncale Rock, Galapagos Islands (iStockphoto)

Cerro Dragon, Santa Cruz (iStockphoto)

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What to do in Galapagos

This sprawling volcanic archipelago 600 miles west of Ecuador inspired the birth of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and its staggering array of flora and fauna is just as robust today as it was back when Charles stepped off the Beagle. Each of its 13 main islands bursts with life, from the playful blue-footed boobies to the brilliant red sally light foot crabs to the distinct silhouette of the flightless cormorants. Seals ply the surf and sea lions sun on the beach while lizards and marine iguanas crawl across the black volcanic rock. The landscape—black rocks, narrow coves, bursts of neon green moss and algae—proves equally exhilarating (and yes, some volcanoes are still active). Intense ocean currents make for exciting, if challenging, diving, and guided hikes put you inches from the islands’ famed inhabitants, who haven’t been conditioned to be the least bit weary of their two-legged visitors.  Places like this shouldn’t exist anymore. But thankfully they do.

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Traveler Reviews of Galapagos


Joe Torcivia rates Galapagos
So here's a quick run-down on the Galapagos. It's a cool place, but in order to see everything you need to do a cruise. If you try and book a cruise before your arrival, you will pay around twice as much as if you get there and book a "last minute" cruise. My advice is to book a hotel for 2 or 3 nights on Santa Cruz and then book your cruise at any one of the local travel agents once you arrive. I recommend hotel Sol e Mar, its a nice spot down town with a pool and lots of sea lions. This will also give you time to explore Santa Cruz which has a few nice beaches, lava tubes and tortoises. Getting to the Galapagos is a bit of a pain, since most international flights land in Ecuador in the afternoon, and all flights leave for the Galapagos in the morning. The Courtyard Mariott in Guayaquil is a nice place to spend the night.
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beccathomps7 rates Galapagos
is a great place with unique species I traveled there 4 months ago with Gulliver Expeditions and the cruise was just great mixed with land tours uff just amazing visit them on http://gulliver.com.ec and enjoy their tours
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