25 Photos of The Galápagos To Inspire You To Book A Trip Now

If you still don’t understand what the big deal is about Ecuador’s world famous archipelago, you will after you look at these photos of the Galápagos Islands. Get your passport and bag ready now!

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: The opening of 25 photos of the Galápagos: A photograph of Kicker Rock, which formed as a result of hot lava shooting out of cold water.
Kicker Rock formed as a result of hot lava shooting out of cold water.

So what are the Galápagos Islands?

Sail 600 miles (965 km) from the coast of Ecuador and you will arrive on the rocky shores of the Galápagos Islands. This archipelago is made up of 13 islands and 7 islets. They formed millions of years ago out of hardened lava. When Darwin arrived in 1835, he found an environment where natural selection and isolated conditions had produced species that didn’t exist anywhere else in the world—and still don’t.

Darwin’s delight.

Darwin focused his research on the finches, giant tortoises, and mockingbirds of the Galápagos. 11 species of land animal are found only in the Galápagos, including Galápagos penguins and flightless cormorants. Many more rare species make their home here, as well as droves of sea lions and iguanas.

There is a huge variety of marine life that only lives in the waters that surround these islands. Go snorkeling to see green turtles, sting rays, and Galápagos sharks.

Why photos of the Galápagos Islands still don’t do them justice…

Words simply don’t do this archipelago justice, and even photos of the Galápagos pale in comparison to seeing them up close. Some things in this world you have to experience for yourself to understand. To inspire you to start planning your trip to the Galápagos Islands, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite photos.

Read on to learn more about this amazing environment and the species that call these islands home. Then learn what to do and what not to do when you make your voyage.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A vibrant iguana in shades ot turquoise, orange, and red sits on a rock.
A colourful iguana on the Galapagos.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: Male and female frigatebirds fly to and sit at a nesting site.
Male giant frigatebirds inflate their chests when they want to attract a mate.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A group of travellers walks on a wooden pier—turquoise waters are behind them.
The path to once in a lifetime memories is found in the Galápagos archipelago.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A bird sits on a mossy tree branch.
You’ll see all kinds of creatures when you visit the Galápagos Islands—whether great or small, they each play an important role in maintaining the delicate balance of the archipelago.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A ship run aground is tilted to one side on the shores of the Galápagos Islands; other ships are visible in the distance.
This ship might disagree, but in our opinion, there are worse places to run aground than the Galápagos.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: Interesting formations on the ground. Is this the cause of the sea or an old lava flow?
Look closely at everything you see on the Galápagos Islands—there is so much beauty to see…including the subtle and unusual variety.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: Two Galápagos penguins are enjoying their rocky habitat.
Look out for Galápagos penguins on your visits to Isabela and Fernandina Island.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A Sally Lightfoot crab sits on a rock near the ocean—two other crabs are blurred in the foreground.
‘Grapsus grapsus,’ otherwise known as the Sally Lightfoot crab.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A close-up of the aptly named "blue-footed booby's" famous feet.
Can you guess what bird these dapper feet belong to? A close-up of the aptly named blue-footed booby’s famous feet.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A photograph of a rocky Galápagos landscape dappled with shallow pools. The sky is blue, and there is a land mound in the background.
If these photos of the Galápagos Islands don’t inspire you, nothing will.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: An iguana sunbathes on a rock.
An iguana sunbathes on a rock.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A red crab clings to the side of a grey rock.
Red crab, grey rock—the Galápagos Islands are full of natural colour contrasts.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A sea lion naps on a sunny and sandy beach.
You can see sea lions on many beaches in the Galápagos. They gather in especially large numbers on a San Cristobál beach called Sea Lion Rookery.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A lone traveller wearing dark shorts and a light t-shirt walks through a cave.
The wonders of the Galápagos Islands aren’t just above ground—explore caves as well.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A lush green clearing full of grass and young trees.
Lush, vividly green, and unspoilt. If the scenery alone isn’t enough to inspire you to book a trip to the Galápagos Islands, the wildlife will.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A tortoise has retracted back into her or his shell a bit.
You can see tortoises in their natural habitat on most of the Galápagos Islands.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A tortoise stands in green grass.
Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Giant Tortoise Center on Isabela Island, or the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz, for the chance to see baby Galápagos tortoises.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: Blue-footed boobies do their mating dance on rocks.
The male blue-footed booby has a distinctive mating dance. He does his best to draw attention to his bright blue feet, in hopes of attracting a mate.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: An island full of marine iguanas.
Marine iguanas live on a diet of seaweed. You will find them on rocky beaches all over the Galápagos.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: Footprints on a Galápagos Island beach.
Footprints on the beach—the only thing one should leave behind when visiting the Galápagos Islands.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A yellow-tinged lava cactus clings to a stony mass.
The lava cactus is one of the endemic species of plants on the Galápagos Islands.

Photos Of The Galápagos Image: A sea lion and sea lion pup lay on a gravelly beach in the Galápagos Islands.
When on a beautiful island, everyone likes to spend a little time lounging—including sea lions.

Almost all of the land on the Galápagos is part of a closely monitored national park. You can find places to stay on some of the more developed islands. Check out accommodations on Santa Cruz, San Cristobál, and Isabela.

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25 Photos of the Galapagos to Inspire You to Book a Trip Now was originally published in Anywhere.com on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.