For the family adventure vacation of a lifetime, you may want to consider a trip to the Galapagos Islands. It is an experience none of you will ever forget. You may have marveled at the wildlife found on the Galapagos Islands when watching the Discovery Channel or a National Geographic special. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to see and do in the Galapagos Islands for your entire family.
A standard eight-day vacation to the Galapagos may begin in Quito, Ecuador and may include:
*Quito. Spend half the day touring the city. The capital of Ecuador, Quito is set high in the Andes Mountains in the lush Guapulo Valley. Soaring volcanic peaks surround the area, some reaching near 20,000 feet. Start in the colonial part of town, which is a living museum of Spanish colonial architecture. The mansions, cathedrals and squares will make you feel like you’re in Spain. Don’t forget to see the Middle of the Earth Monument, built to mark the Equator meridian at 0 degrees latitude.
*Santa Cruz/Galapagos National Park. Take a walk through the nearby town of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos. Don’t miss the Charles Darwin Research Station while you’re here.
*Galapagos National Park. Take a cruise to Bartolome, which is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering obelisk that is the best-known landmark in the islands. Take a stroll along the narrow ledges at the base of this remarkable feature. Visit with wildlife that are completely comfortable around human beings. Sea lions nap on the rocky shore and play in the water around snorkelers. Galapagos penguins, the only species found north of the equator, frolic all along the shore.
*Galapagos National Park. Take a trip to North Seymour Island. This island was created by a seismic event that lifted it from the ocean floor. Small cliffs, only a few meters tall, are home to swallow-tailed gulls. Just above the landing, look for the small grove of silver-gray Palo Santo trees. They are usually bare, waiting for the rains to help them bloom.
*Galapagos National Park. The wildlife are everywhere. The kids will probably be delighted to find marine iguanas basking in the sun on the terrace of your hotel. The family will enjoy many other great activities like horseback riding, mountain biking, and kayaking. You can also choose to take a mini-trip and sign up for a 4×4 jeep tour of the highlands or a tour of the bay.
*Galapagos National Park – Quito. Spend a relaxing day preparing for your return to civilization by reminiscing about your wonderful experiences in the Galapagos.
There are some very strict rules and regulations you must observe when visiting the Galapagos National Park.
1. Do not remove or disturb any rock, plant or animal.
2. Be very cautious not to bring any type of organic material from one island to another.
3. Touching or handling any animals is forbidden.
4. Do not feed the animals.
5. Do not disturb the animals by startling or chasing them.
6. Remain on marked trails only to avoid damaging any vegetation or encouraging erosion.
7. Smoking is not allowed on the islands.
There is no better way to share your love of nature with your children than to show them this magnificent natural habitat. They will learn respect for nature and will never forget this experience. There is no other place on earth where you can all explore a natural environment filled with such rare species as sea turtles, giant tortoises and penguins.
Your children will be able to meet scientists at the famed Darwin Research Station, see pirate hideouts, and watch dolphins, whales and stingrays swimming free. They’ll be able to document their visit by taking photos of marine iguanas, seals and many species of wild birds that live on the islands.
Traveling to the Galapagos Islands is an adventure your family will never forget. It is also a chance to live an educational experience they can never fathom from merely reading a book or watching a television program.