Of all the magic that the Galápagos have to offer, the wildlife is at the top of the list. These unique animals thrilled us and ignited our imaginations.
In the vast emptiness of the Pacific Ocean lies an incredible and isolated treasure called The Galapagos Islands. The uninhabited volcanic islands are home to a huge range of wildlife famous for inspiring Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Incredibly, the islands and wildlife are much as Darwin experienced them in 1885!
One of the most unique aspects of a visit to the Galápagos is just how close you can get to all of the animals!! Literally you can be just inches from completely wild animals. The vibrant life and vitality of the islands led our imaginations to ponder the amazing variety and ingenuity of biological life and how it changes over time! This trip is a must for explorers, wildlife fanatics, and historians alike! Below are a few highlights of the wildlife we witnessed.
Galapagos Sea Lion
Often heard before seen, the Galapagos Sea Lion’s unique “bark” is a welcoming sound. As one the most common species in the archipelago, we often saw the sea lions gracefully basking on sun-covered rocks and playfully moving across the sand.
The Fur Seal was so cute! Being quite small and furry with a button-like nose, it quickly became one of our favorites. The males have a unique mane of fur on their head and shoulders. We often spotted the Fur Seal basking on rocks in the sun.
We were lucky to see some great acrobatics, thanks to the Common Dolphin. Smooth and graceful, the dolphins put on a breathtaking show of speed and precision.
Golden Rays & Eagle Rays
Watching the endangered Golden and Eagle rays silently glide along the ocean floor was a truly incredible experience. Their big, wing-like fins slowly and peacefully propel them in a mesmerizing way.
The Sally Lightfoot is a colorful and common crab. Ranging from brownish-red to bright pink and yellow, they are interesting to watch and easy to spot!
The Giant Tortoise is the largest of all the living tortoises. They can grow to weigh up to almost 1000 lbs with a lifespan of over 100 years! The name "Galapagos" comes from the Spanish word "galápago", meaning tortoise.
The Sea Turtle is a fairly common creature to see, but even after many sightings our intrigue didn’t dissipate. With flipper-like legs and an almost lizard-like head, the Sea Turtles were fun to observe navigating land and water.
Marine Iguana & Land Iguana
We were lucky to come across the Marine Iguana as it is a species that can only be found on the Galapagos Islands. It also has the unique ability among reptiles to forage both land and water!
We knew the Galapagos was home to many species of wildlife, but we were thrilled to learn it also was home to a unique species of penguin! The Galapagos Penguin is the only wild penguin living north of the equator.
Blue Footed Boobie & Red Footed Boobie
While found worldwide, approximately one-half of all breeding pairs of Boobie nest on the Galapagos.
The Magnificent Frigatebird was beautiful, interesting, and hilariously mannered. The male birds have a large, bright red chest that can puff out to attract a mate. Often these birds can be seen snatching airborne flying fish. What a sight to witness!
Galapagos short-eared owl
The Galapagos Short Eared Owl is a silent flying, tuft-headed, and cunning bird of prey. Often they sneakily wait near cave mouths until smaller birds enter or exit, then snatch their prey mid-air.
About Our Visit to the Galápagos Islands
During our trip to the Galápagos Islands with Quasar Expeditions, we were able to see so much more wildlife than we expected! Embarking on 2 excursions per day full of hiking, scuba diving, kayaking, and boating, we were able to access many different wildlife habitats. It was a unique experience to get such a close and intimate look at the wildlife of the Galápagos while enjoying amazing accommodation and superbly planned expeditions.
For more information about Quasar Expeditions please click here.