The orient region of Ecuador was a highlight, but we needed to head back to Quito for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. We parked our truck at Aries Bikes and the Galapagos Adventure was about to start
After nearly 16 years overland travel around the world we have 4 items on our bucket list which are unable to be explored by vehicle and the Galapagos islands is one of them. (North Pole, Antarctica and Greenland are the others) The Galapagos Archipelago comprised of seven large islands over 100sq km, a dozen of smaller islands nearly 50 little islets and a couple of dozen rocks. The largest island is Isabela with 4588sq km, and the entire surface area of the Archipelago is 7800sq km and has a population of around 23000 of which 15000 live on Santa Cruz island. Our cruise exploring the Galapagos islands included 7 Dry landings, 8 Wet landings, 7 Islands and 18 different sites (including 3 coves) as well as a visit to Puerto Ayora the capital of the Galapagos.
Discovered in the 16th century, the Galápagos Islands have inspired visitors from around the globe. Mainly for the giant tortoises on the islands and a unique ecosystem that largely evolved without outside influences as the closest mainland lies over 1000km to the East (Ecuador) The Galapagos offers an exceptional opportunity for wildlife viewing. Most important: the wildlife is not afraid of human beings. Also, mostly unknown is that the Galápagos Islands remain one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, and the formation of the islands is still in progress. Most of the 13 large islands, six smaller islands, and 42 islets that make up the Galápagos were declared part of the Galápagos National Park in the 1950s and visiting this fragile ecosystem can only be undertaken as part of a guided tour to designated visitor sites. Around Isabella and Santa Cruz island you can visit a few areas without a guide. Also, a main attraction are the many bird species of which nearly 30 are unique to the Galapagos, including the Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, waved albatross (Unfortunately we did not see the waved Albatross) and a variety of finches.
Islands we visited were Santa Cruz Island, Floreana, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago, North Seymour and Mosquera island.