Tuesday 25 February 2014

Galapagos Islands - More Than a Bucket List Destination

Galapagos Island Travel
Blue Footed Boobie
It's not a surprise to me that USA Today recognizes the Galapagos Islands as the number one "bucket list" destination in the world today.  Why not? After all, more species of animals, plants and marine life are endemic to our islands than exist anywhere else on the planet. Undoubtedly, the Galápagos Islands are a destination of choice.

But I admit I have developed a bit of a bias against my home being a destination merely to be checked off a bucket list. It is so much more.

First, consider my perspective. I've lived here all my life. I revel in the beauty, power and uniqueness that surround me. I never tire of this world. Every sea lion is distinctive. Every inch of lava is a work of art. Every day is a chance to learn and expand my appreciation of the planet.  So, here's my dilemma: it's been my experience that those who come here just because it's on their bucket list run the risk of overlooking some of the real highlights of their visit.  They can be so determined to make it through the list that they fail to immerse themselves in where they are in the moment.
Tuesday 18 February 2014

What to Expect on Your Trip to the Galapagos Islands

Photograph of Harry Jimenez, owner of Galapagos Eco Lodge
I’ve lived on the Galapagos Islands all of my life and I’ve led nearly 1,000 groups of tourists to places throughout these remarkable islands. It goes without saying that I have learned many things in these years. But, above them all is this: Come to the Galapagos Islands prepared to expect the unexpected! The Islands never cease to amaze me. I always find something new, something inspirational and something I never anticipated.

Kicker Rock outside of San Cristobal Island
Kicker Rock
Just an hour's boat ride from the Galapagos Eco-Lodge
It’s likely that the greatest thrills you will have on your visit to the Galapagos Islands will be unforeseeable and unpredictable. For me, the moment that takes me by surprise and opens my eyes is as likely to happen when I am snorkeling as when I am awed by an an eye-catching vista; it could be when I open my eyes in the morning to an extraordinary sunrise or my last glimpse of the night sky when I see a shooting star. Sometimes, everything around me goes quiet and I hear nothing but the water, the wind, the birds and the sea lions. People fade into the background for that moment in time and I am at peace and feel the beauty, grandeur and uniqueness of my environment.
Tuesday 11 February 2014

Santa Cruz Island - Academy Bay - Clearest Waters in the World

Puerto Ayora, Academy Bay
If you haven't been to Academy Bay, it deserves a visit.  Located just outside of Puerto Ayora, it is the most populous location in the Galapagos Islands.

Crystal Clear Waters of Academy Bay
Not only that: Academy Bay has been ranked as one of the most crystal clear beaches in the entire world.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

North Seymour Island

Sunset over North Seymour Island
Sunset Over North Seymour Island

North Seymour Rugged Coastline in the Pacific Ocean
North Seymour's Rugged Coastline
That North Seymour Island is tiny, just .7 square miles and only 92 feet above sea level at its highest point, doesn’t detract from its beauty and the fact that it's a great island for a visit. In fact, that there can be so much life, beauty, and natural phenomenon in such a small area is really rather amazing to me.