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Marine Iguana


The Marine Iguana has never been described as the most beautiful creature. Charles Darwin himself called them “hideous-looking” and even referred to them as “imps.” With smushed in snouts, spiny backs, and a black, almost metallic color, they certainly aren’t the most elegant species on the Galapagos. What they lack in traditional beauty, however, marine iguanas make up for in astounding resilience and adaptability. A descendant of the land iguana, the marine iguana made its way to the water and evolved to conserve oxygen, regulate its own body temperature, limit its salt intake, and even adjust its biting and chewing capabilities to incorporate algae into its diet. Today, the marine iguana can be found throughout the archipelago and seen on virtually every Galapagos expedition.

While these adapted marine lizards number in the hundreds of thousands, their existence is threatened by feral rats, cats, and dogs. They also have a shorter lifespan than their land-dwelling counterparts, at about 40 years compared to 50 or 60. Despite their fierce dragonesque appearance, marine iguanas are herbivores. Their imposing claws help them cling to rocks and endure the tides, and their metallic color helps them absorb sunlight better while contending with frigid waters. They can only be found in the Galapagos. Males can grow to be as long as four feet, while females rarely reach two feet long.

Thanks to Andean our vacation was a wonderful experience for our entire family of 15 (8 adults and 7 grand kids aged 16 to 9).. The planning for the trip to the Galapagos was well researched; the hotels, guides and itinerary were spot on. They answered our many questions before we departed and there NO disappointments during the vacation. It was the most memorable trip our family has taken.
Mary Ann Fuller
Mary Ann Fuller
18:00 22 Jan 19
My family toured the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu in Peru with Andean Discovery guides and reservations. We had a fabulous adventure! I recommend highly that "superior lodging" be chosen as an option for the best possible room accommodations. The marvelous comfort of the fine hotels Andean booked for us made all the difference.
Kathryn Fulhorst
Kathryn Fulhorst
21:36 08 Jan 19
Damon put together the perfect itinerary for our group of 7 - including grandparents. His knowledge of the region is superb, which is why he is able to create the ultimate trip for your family. From whitewater rafting in Peru to zip-lining in Ecuador, we truly had the trip of a lifetime! I wouldn't go with anyone else!
Carolyn Malloy
Carolyn Malloy
12:40 31 Jan 19
Traveling to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu was a dream vacation for my wife. After much research we booked our trip through Andean Discovery. We are so glad we did. Everything went smoothly and our personal guides in Ecuador and Peru were wonderful. I would highly recommend Andean Discovery to anyone thinking of taking a similar trip.
Arnold Miniman
Arnold Miniman
15:29 14 Dec 18
We traveled with our family of 3 people. Andean did a wonderful job helping us select an itinerary that was able to accommodate our various ages. We had no glitches in a fairly complicated itinerary and everything came off as planned. Our local guide in Quito Johanna was terrific. I can't recommend Sacha Lodge more highly. Our experience in Galapagos on the Coral 1 was magical. While the crew of the Coral 1 could have been more charming and smiled on occasion they were helpful, the food was very good and the rooms were kept clean. I have no reservations in recommending Andean Discovery for your South American Holiday
Victor Elinoff
Victor Elinoff
23:26 07 Jan 19
Our trip was fantastic and Micaela with Andean Discovery was great! Every detail was taken care of ahead of time. We just showed up and enjoyed the beauty of South America. I would use them again in a heartbeat.
marc abrams
marc abrams
23:33 23 Nov 18