Nothing can beat its unique species and sheer abundance, not to mention how unbelievably easy it is to see!! Wildlife is notoriously camera and people shy, so it is truly wonderful to be able to come to this archipelago and be welcomed at the beach by a colony of sea lions or marine iguanas resting on the rocks. They have few predators so curiosity has replaced fear.
This is a particular bonus when travelling with children as they haven’t got the same patience levels as adults to wait for that magic moment. They will love the crazy colours of the curiously named Sally Lightfoot crabs or the ‘Lost World’ prehistoric qualities of the large land iguanas. Frigate birds that puff up their bright red chests like balloons or the comical bobbing up and down of Blue Footed Boobies in their mating dance are equally entertaining for young eyes.
The Galapagos Islands though, like many of the world’s wildlife havens, has to fight hard to protect its inhabitants and its environment. Vital to its long-term survival is maintaining its pristine environment and minimising human impact.
I feel passionately about the protection of wildlife and habitats and any time I visit, always making sure that I support those operators and local providers that adhere to the strictest regulations possible on the environment.
For example, I was very excited to hear about the introduction of the first trimaran in the Galapagos, called the Camila, which is due to start sailing in the islands from March 2018. Its reduced friction through the water means increased speed and therefore crucially a saving on the use of fuel. Happily this also means less sailing and greater stability and comfort on board for those who are not such great sailors.
Another of my favourite local partners is also building a superb new yacht to be called the Theory, set to join its sister ship the Origin in early 2019 offering a luxury cruise vessel with a host of eco-friendly features. They are also deeply committed to sustainable tourism practices in the Galapagos Islands, being the trailblazers and founding members of numerous conservation and sustainability projects.