Sneaky Sneaky: Encounters with Galapagos Racer Snakes

5th January 2017

Galapagos racer snakes have taken center stage, co-starring alongside David Attenborough. Last month, the BBC announced the upcoming production of the long-awaited second season of Planet Earth. The return of this program about nature and wildlife is an exciting piece of news for its many fans. Season 1 was amazing because of the places the program visited and the outstanding shots they got on wildlife. As a photographer, I cannot even begin to imagine how much preparation and patience the cameramen, crew, and production team need in order to create such a detailed, artsy, and expensive series.

A Narrow Escape

This amazing production takes viewers to the archipelago’s newest island, Fernandina. They bring us all the way to the center of planet Earth, to the Galapagos Islands, (You can locate this Western island on one of these Galapagos maps!) The episode shows a baby iguana running through a rocky beach, when suddenly racer snakes start coming out from behind every rock to try and catch it. At one point the baby iguana almost gets caught and hope seems futile, but finally, it manages to escape from what is literally a beach covered in snakes.

The Rare Galapagos Racer Snake

Galapagos Snakes: Racer Snake
The Galapagos Racer Snake Is Threatened By Another Species That Eats Snakes’ Eggs

Other snake species inhabit the islands, and like Galapagos racers, they are constrictors and mildly venomous. They usually prey on lava lizards, insects, iguanas, rats, mice, and several bird hatchlings. Visitors will be interested in knowing this snake is not aggressive towards humans and even if threatened, would not do much harm. One of this snake’s most rare characteristics is that, unlike others of its species, it has learned to hunt and eat fish in order to survive.

The Many Surprises of Fernandina

Many guests plan their trip specifically to visit Fernandina Island, where we disembark on the second day of our Western Islands Itinerary. Fernandina offers surprises on every square centimeter, from beautiful landscapes to special Galapagos fauna and flora particular to this island. In reality, snakes are not commonly seen in the Galapagos Islands, and even when present, their spectacular camouflage keeps them out of sight. This particularity might be one of the reasons why walking around Fernandina is so exciting: you have to keep an eye open for what could be right in front of you. Who doesn’t love a little suspense!

Thursday, during our scheduled walk, was not an exception. A surprise was waiting for us not long after we started our outing: a mid-sized Galapagos racer snake passed through our feet as if we weren’t even there. You could feel the nervousness in the air, but in the end, the Galapagos racer left us nothing more than a beautiful memory.

After all, the most incredible thing about Galapagos wildlife is that they are not at all bothered by the presence of humans and go about their lives as if they own the place because they do. Humans are just observers who are lucky enough to get a glimpse of their territory and try to leave it as undisturbed as they found it.

Updated:May 10, 2023

Published:January 19, 2017


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.

We have what you are looking for!