5 Reasons why the Galapagos Islands are a Nature Lover’s Paradise
Guaranteed Close Encounters with Wildlife
One of my most treasured travel experiences occurred at renowned snorkeling spot Kicker Rock on a student trip. While snorkeling through the channel, we became aware that there was a group of about 9 hammerhead sharks were gliding majestically through the water far below us. The Galapagos Islands offers many chances like this for close encounters with wildlife, perfect for biology students and nature enthusiasts. Swim with playful sea lions, approach iguanas for that perfect photo, and cherish those surreal interactions only the Galapagos Islands can offer.
Learn about the islands’ policies for limiting negative effects on the island’s ecosystems brought on by tourism and pollution. As part of a community service trip to the islands, student groups can take part in conservation projects on-island to tangibly support the protection of the various flora and fauna who call the area home.
Limited number of Visitors
Strict rules are enforced upon visitors to the Galapagos Islands, in order to support the conservation efforts mentioned above. However, this allows for a better group experience for those who do make the journey. Visitors are not allowed in certain areas of the islands without a guide which means less tourists hordes and a more natural, immersive experience. You’ll feel as if you have the island to yourself while exploring. As well, visitors are not allowed to go off the specified trails, which leads to more preserved natural surroundings. How many people do you know that can say they’ve been to the Galapagos Islands?
In addition to providing up close interactions with wildlife, the islands allow visitors to see species you can rarely find anywhere else, including a number of endemic species. Keep an eye open for frigate birds, blue footed booby birds, tropical wildlife mixing with penguins, and the Galapagos Islands most famous resident, the Giant Tortoise!
Visit the area that was the base for much of Darwin’s work on the Origin of Species – the classic text that helped popularize the theory of evolution. As a science class trip, no other destination provides a better chance for biology work and research as an outdoor classroom.