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The Galapagos Islands are one of our planet's most scenic and naturally beautiful locations. The stunning landscapes of places like Bartolome Island create the perfect backdrop for the vivid and abundant wildlife that adorns these fabulous islands, and whether you are a professional photographer or simply looking to admire the view and take a few holiday snaps during your cruise it is practically impossible to leave the Galapagos Islands without a fabulous photo collection of the great sights you experienced during your travels...

Bartolome Island

This volcanic island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago is regarded as one of the most scenic and beautiful islands in the region, and the view from Pinnacle Rock Overlook is magical.

Bartolome Island, Galapagos

Bartolome Island, Galapagos

Lobos Island

Lobos Island, which translates as "Sea Lion Island" from the native Spanish, is a small islet off the northern coast of the much larger San Cristobal Island. The island is famous in the Galapagos due to the population of lazy sea lions that lounge on the beaches and also makes an excellent snorkelling location. As such Lobos Island is included in many of the Galapagos cruise itineraries.

Lobos Island, Galapagos Islands

Blue-Footed Booby

The Blue-footed booby is one of the most recognisable native inhabitants of the Galapagos island group famous for its unique blue coloured feet! Although the population of these birds is relatively small on the islands they are a very common sight on holidays and cruises, and although they can be spotted in various locations throughout the Galapagos two of the more frequent locations are breeding colonies on Espanola and North Seymour Islands.

Blue Footed Booby, Galapagos

Galapagos Flamingo

The Galapagos flamingo is actually a species known as the American flamingo, and this majestic bird is an awesome sight to behold, the luscious pink colours contrasting fantastically with the deep turquoise waters of the Galapagos Oceans, and the vivid oranges and yellows of the sandy bays where these birds can usually be found. You are more likely to spot these birds in the central Galapagos islands of Santiago, Santa Cruz and Floreana.

Galapagos Flamingos

Frigatebird

The Galapagos Islands are blessed with two different species of Frigatebird: the Great frigatebird and the Magnificent frigatebird, and both these beautiful creatures live up to their fine names. Frigatebirds are a common bird on the islands, and they can be regularly spotted on Galapagos cruise holidays throughout the archipelago as far north as Genovesa Island, as far west as Fernandina island, and as far east as San Cristobal Island.

Frigate Bird, Galapagos

Galapagos Penguins

The Galapagos Penguin is one of the smallest penguin species in the world, is one of the rarest species of penguin (the species is listed as "threatened" with population estimates between 1500 and 5000 individuals), and it is the only penguin to be found (in the wild) north of the equator. Despite the small population numbers it is possible to spot these birds, and they are most prevalent in the western islands of Isabela and Fernandina.

Galapagos Penguins

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

These enormous creatures are one of the "must see" animals of the Galapagos Islands. They are the largest living tortoises famous for their size and weight (they frequently exceed 250kg or more) and for their lengthy lifespans (they can live in excess of 100 years). The Galapagos tortoise played a key role in Darwin's work on the theory of evolution when he realised that the tortoises on the islands all varied slightly from one another. Although the tortoise population is recovering and it is possible to see tortoises in the wild in places such as the highlands of Santa Cruz island (often visited on the final day of a Galapagos cruise before transferring to the airport for the return flight to the mainland), you are more likely to get the chance to see these wonderful creatures in one of the breeding centres that play an important role in conservation and protection.

Galapagos Giant Tortoises

Sally Lightfoot Crab

The Sally Lightfoot crab, often referred to as the Red Rock crab, is one of the more colourful and vivid creatures to be found on the Galapagos Islands making it a popular creature for enthusiastic wildlife photographers. The Sally Lightfoot crab is a common species, and can be spotted on Baltra and San Cristobal Islands among others.

Galapagos Island Crab

Galapagos Green Turtle

Snorkelling or scuba diving are very popular activities when on a Galapagos cruise, and the Galapagos Green sea turtle is one of the stand-out creatures to look out for, observe and admire during your cruise. Although these animals are migratory they return to the Galapagos Islands each year to nest.

Green Sea Turtle

Galapagos Marine Iguana

One of the more iconic sights of any visit to the Galapagos archipelago is seeing these majestic creatures dominate their natural terrain. The Galapagos Marine Iguanas are the result of a fascinating evolutionary journey having first arrived on the islands as terrestrial iguanas before evolving to become marine experts, then dispersing into a range of sub-species throughout the islands. The marine iguanas inhabit all islands in the Galapagos and it is very likely you will see then on a cruise or land-based holiday, in particular during visits to Genovesa, Fernandina, Isabela, Floreana and Española islands.

Galapagos Marine Iguana

Galapagos Sea Lions, San Cristobal Island

The Galapagos Sea Lion is a popular, impressive and fun animal to observe due to their large size and their tendency to lounge around on beaches. It is also possible to spot sea lion pups year-round. They can be found throughout the Galapagos Islands and it is very likely you will see them on a Galapagos cruise at various locations around the archipelago. To ensure you spot them the majority of the cruise itineraries will include at least one visit to a specific beach where they are likely to be found.

Galapagos Sea Lion

Isabela Island

Isabela Island is a volcanic island situated in the west of the Galapagos and is, by quite some distance, the largest island in the archipelago. Due to its large size the island is a popular destination on cruises (except those that exclusively visit the eastern islands) and visits to the island are varied and interesting. Stand-out sights to see include the varied geology and volcanic landscapes, lava rock formations, active volcanoes (Sierra Negra being the most impressive), the "Wall of Tears" (a wall built by prisoners held at a former penal colony on the island) and the varied wildlife that is abundant throughout the island such as wild tortoises, penguins, marine and land iguanas, boobies and Darwin's finches. It is also possible to spot for whales off the western coastline.

Isabela Island

South Plaza Island

This tiny islet is situated off the eastern coast of the much larger Santa Cruz Island, one of the main islands in the Galapagos. The islet is covered in vivid red shrubbery and a large population of cactus and as such is a popular cruise destination due this beauty but also the wide variety of wildlife that can be spotted here including a number of different bird species and the iconic Galapagos land iguana.

South Plaza Island

 

All photos used with permission and / or Copyright Go Andes.