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Galapagos Wildlife


Wildlife of the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands, named after the shells of saddleback Galapagos tortoises, is a mind-blowing experience. To encounter the Galapagos animals is something you will never forget. Nowhere else in the world can you experience a diverse group of wildlife all in one place: swim and snorkel with sea lions, watch a penguin waddle into the water, scuba dive with hammerhead sharks, stand right next to two male iguanas fighting for a mate, and view a waved albatross, with its 8-foot wingspan, soar along coastal cliffs.

With a lack of predatory mammals, Galapagos wildlife is dominated by reptiles. Some types of the Galapagos animals include the famous 400-pound Galapagos Tortoise. There are also land and marine iguanas, snakes, lava lizards, and sea turtles. Within the Galapagos wildlife, there are 22 species of reptiles, most of which are endemic (species only found in the Galápagos).

The Galapagos archipelago is one of the most important areas for birds in the world. More than half of the bird species are endemic, and many are iconic for both scientists (Charles Darwin first studied them in 1835) and visitors alike. The Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, waved albatross, and lava gull are just a few that are not found anywhere else in the world. The shear number and the seemingly tame nature of these birds amaze all who visit.

Whether you choose to do a Galapagos land-based tour or a Galapagos cruise, you are sure to have the wildlife experience of a lifetime.

Galapagos Big 15

When planning your visit to the Galapagos Islands, it helps to structure your experience around the things that you absolutely must do or see. In an otherworldly landscape with a fascinating combination of endemic species, that can be a tall order. For that reason, Andean Discovery has compiled this handy list of the 15 most iconic Galapagos species. From the sea to the shoreline to the sky, these are the true locals of the archipelago — and a well-executed excursion allows you to view each in its natural habitat. Familiarize yourself with the habitats, mating habits, and unique characteristics of these 15 species and you’ll understand just how special the experience is when you see them. Master the details of each and you’ll come closer to comprehending the unique role that each member plays in the special interplay of this fascinatingly untouched ecosystem.

Galapagos Albatross                                           Blue-footed Booby                                             Galapagos Penguin

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Sea Lion                                                                 Galapagos Hawk                                                  American Flamingo

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Marine Iguana                                                     Nazca Booby                                                        Red-footed Booby

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Flightless Cormorant                                          Santa Fe Land Iguana                                       Galapagos Tortoise

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Frigatebird                                                            Land Iguana                                                       Fur Seal

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Ecuador Mainland & Galapagos Combined

Andean Discovery's Quito and Galapagos Cruises allow you to explore Quito, a jewel in the Andes and World Heritage site, before boarding one of our favorite vessels for the wildlife experien
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Galapagos Land Tours

Galapagos Land Tours are a great alternative to cruises, allowing you more flexibility to enjoy a variety of activities, such as ocean kayaking, snorkeling, and relaxing on the beach.
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Galapagos Cruises

Galapagos cruises are an excellent way to experience all the Galapagos have to offer, including brilliant white-sand beaches, snorkeling, hiking trails and wildlife viewing.
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Galapagos Diving Tours

Discover the magnificent world of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Whether you choose a day trip or a live-a-board diving boat, many of the species you'll see are found nowhere else.
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Tours to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands

Combine two of South America's most amazing highlights in this trip. Explore the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu hop over to the Galapagos Islands to observe wildlife up close.
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