Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Everyone has heard of the Galapagos Islands. In October 2016, I had the awesome privilege of exploring these islands and the waters that surround them. Boy, was I in for a treat! The islands do not disappoint with their many natural wonders. Join me on a photo tour through the Galapagos Islands.

The islands, located 600 miles (1000 kilometers) off the coast of Ecuador, are famous for offering incredible experiences with the wild. At one point, the islands served as a stopping place for pirates sailing in the Pacific Ocean but today they are protected by the government of Ecuador. Species found on these islands are often endangered and endemic but you can still get fairly close to them.

Visitors hope to have a brush with nature.

When you visit the Galapagos, you do so knowing that you’re in for a pretty immersive nature experience. Hiking, snorkeling, swimming, and trekking are all part of the experience. You’re guaranteed to meet some of the island’s animal residents up close and personal. But don’t worry…there is always time to relax on a secluded beach. Just be prepared for curious local residents who might wander up to you.

It’s an eclectic and unique mix of wildlife and topography.

The Galapagos Islands play home to a diverse group of animals ranging from reptiles to fish to birds to mammals. Everywhere you turn, you are likely to see a creature of some sort. Not only that, the landscapes change drastically from mangrove forests to coral reefs to volcanic rock-scapes, to open fields filled with trees.

In total, I spent 5 days sailing from island to island and exploring what each had to offer. Our guide was fantastically knowledgeable about the history of the islands and their flora and fauna. Please enjoy this glimpse into life on the islands from my perspective.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Gazing out across the cliffs and to the sea on Española Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The sunsets on another incredible day of adventure in the Pacific Ocean.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The distinctive Pinnacle Rock on Bartolomé Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Walking along the red beaches of Rabida Island…serene and wonderful!
Exploring the Lava Tunnels on El Chato 2 Ranch in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Iguanas basking on a cliff on Santa Fe Island.
Birds Birds & More Birds

Birds are one of the most abundant species on the islands. They are literally everywhere and they’re fascinating to watch in their natural habitat. From Lava Gulls, Mockingbirds, frigits, pigeons, doves, and Darwin Finches…you’re sure to find a favorite. I fell in love with the Blue-footed Boobies and the Albatross.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Blue-footed Boobies settling in for the night.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
A zoom lens will help you get this close to the birds. Remember…it’s illegal to get any closer than 6 feet.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
An Albatross couple guards their chick…while an intruder hangs about.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
A Mocking Bird with an angry face. It diligently searches for our water bottles.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The Albatross is my favorite bird. It’s absolutely beautiful.
You will walk…and often. 

The only way to explore most the islands is by foot. That means you’ll do quite a bit of hiking but don’t worry, most the hikes are fairly easy. Trekking across the islands is also the only way to meet the local wildlife population.  The views are incredible and you feel like you’re in another world.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Our group exploring the Mangroves in search of sea turtles and sharks.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The husband, Alfred, drying off after a good hour of snorkeling and swimming with sea lions.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Hiking through a field of succulents.
Bartolomé Island
Walking and meandering along the golden sand beach of Bartolomé Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Hiking to a beautiful view of the “Blow Hole” on Española Island.
Wildlife Galore.

You’ll also encounter a number of other creatures outside the bird family. Should you decide to snorkel, you might encounter parrot fish, eagle rays, sea turtles, trumpet fish, and even sea lions. Walking about the islands, you’re likely to stumble into land iguanas, large insects,  sea iguanas, and yes…sea lions. It’s a veritable safari in the Pacific.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
An encounter with hundreds of Sea Iguanas (also known as Christmas Iguanas) on Santa Fe Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
A crab rests on some rocks on Bartolomé Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
An inquisitive sea lion pup on Rabida Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Giant Tortoise on Santa Cruz Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Sleeping sea lions sort of just melt your heart. They’re so adorable! In the water, they will swim with you too!
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
I found a sea lion and I was really excited about it!

So what do you think? Does this inspire you to get to the Galapagos? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


J Harvey

Pin me, Please!

Wildlife and Adventure Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands

J. Harvey

J Harvey is a travel writer based in North Carolina. With two masters degrees, he decided to forget working a normal 9-5 job and instead create a travel blog focusing on travel for a more inclusive community. He hopes to increase LGBT representation within the travel industry while inspiring others to travel in whatever capacity.

mynormalgaylifegmail-com has 87 posts and counting.See all posts by mynormalgaylifegmail-com

14 thoughts on “Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands

  • July 5, 2017 at 6:33 am
    Permalink

    Galapagos has been on my bucket list for a very long time! For the wildlife alone…it’s a total dream destination for me. I know I’ll make it there someday. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    • August 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm
      Permalink

      Oh I hope you do because it’s an experience like no other. You should definitely try to get aboard a private yacht. So much fun!

      Reply
  • July 4, 2017 at 11:33 pm
    Permalink

    OMG!!! I love this post! It’s definitely a trip of a lifetime. I bet it was so amazing to encounter these animals up close. I hope to visit Galapagos soon. 🙂

    Reply
    • August 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm
      Permalink

      The animals were one of my favorite parts. I’m sure you’ll make it!

      Reply
  • July 4, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    Permalink

    Your photos took me right back – one of my favorite destinations! Galapagos for me is one of those rare destinations which actually lived up to and surpassed the hype. Authentic, relatively untouched still despite a lot of tourism, and just a really genuine experience with wildlife.

    Reply
    • August 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm
      Permalink

      Precisely and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Even though there are a lot of tourists, the government only allows so many a year!

      Reply
  • July 2, 2017 at 5:58 am
    Permalink

    Wow, these photos just remind me of the island sitting on my bucket list. I’m not that outdoorsy of a person but I would love to go.

    Reply
    • August 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm
      Permalink

      Welllll… you can’t really be on any of the islands for too terribly long so you don’t need to be outdoorsy. On top of that, you can do it luxury style like we did and it’s not too terribly rustic.

      Reply
  • July 2, 2017 at 12:15 am
    Permalink

    The sea lion pup is adorable. I am getting my dive master certification this fall so I really want to dive the Galapagos. My instructor says that is the top of his bucket list so I know it’s pretty good. Great pictures guys.

    Reply
    • August 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm
      Permalink

      Oh yeah, our guide said diving in the Galapagos is amazing. We snorkeled and I don’t think I’m made for diving. It scares me.

      Reply
  • July 1, 2017 at 5:23 am
    Permalink

    Wow!!! I want to get to the Galapagos so bad! Every time I hear of someone wasting a bunch of money on something dumb like a plastic surgery or school tuition I say “sounds like a trip to the Galapagos to me!”
    Your wildlife shots are absolutely incredible, I’m amazed you were able to get such a clear shot of that sea lion pup. and the blue footed boobies are wonderful. I must get here!

    Cheers,
    Emily

    Reply
    • August 5, 2017 at 10:30 pm
      Permalink

      Haha! Well, an education is a good expense if ya ask me. I have a lot of education and wouldn’t be doing what I am doing without it. But I definitely get what you’re saying. It’s all about priorities. I was a photographer before I was a blogger so I take my photos serious. 🙂

      Reply

What's On Your Mind?