Galapagos Animals: From Mammals to the Creatures Down Under


Mammals on the islands are few and far between a native rice rat, a pair of bat species, and of course, the ever-present Galapagos sea lion and Galápagos fur sea lion. Charming, friendly, playful, sometimes rowdy and sometimes lazy Galapagos sea lions (in the sea, on the beach, on Puerto Ayora’s benches) are not only a major attraction… they are the closest thing to us on the islands! The more reserved fur seal shies away under lava grottos…

Down under

Underwater spectacles include the Rosy-lipped Batfish, a creature straight from the depths of the ocean’s imagination, with actual feet and baby arms and bright red lips (commonly known as ‘The Mick Jagger’); the Galapagos Bullhead Shark, a beautiful ‘Dalmatian’ shark only recorded in the archipelago; the gigantic whale shark, the largest fish species in the world; the Blue Whale, the largest mammal (and animal) in the world; the Chocolate-Chip Starfish, named so because it looks like a fresh-baked star-shaped chocolate chip cookie; the Hieroglyphic Hawkfish, a large, hefty fish with fluorescent scribbles all over its body; or the dragon-faced, fan-crested and bright orange Galapagos Scorpionfish… to name just a few!

The Marine Iguana

Galapagos Marine Iguana
The Galapagos Marine Iguana Is Endemic To The Islands.


The marine iguana is the only swimming lizard on Earth, adapting itself to physically change its respiration system due to the extensive amounts of time it needs to spend underwater (it can actually stay for over an hour!). Marine iguanas are also quite different in size and color from island to island and especially during mating season, they can be blindingly colorful (especially on the island of Española).

The Flightless Cormorant

The Flightless Cormorant is the only member of a fast-flying family of birds that does not fly. Moreover, we can see today how the scarcely-feathered stubs they call wings serve no purpose even if the Flightless Cormorant wanted to use them. If we juxtapose it against penguins, it seems like one is the answer to the other, and thus have been long considered key evidence that animals evolve… and are evolving!

Start your Galapagos vacation today!

Updated:May 5, 2023

Published:December 28, 2015


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person



Condé Nast Traveler ONLINE

This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

Telegraph Ultra Travel: 50 Greatest Hotels in the World

When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

Terms and Conditions

Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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