Fun for Families at the Galapagos Islands
Family vacations are legendary ordeals, remembered either for how incredibly fun they were or, alternatively, for how much everyone ended up getting on each other’s nerves. Don’t waste time trying to organize a successful road trip – managing several personalities, stuck in a car for hours on end, can be simply too hard for most. Instead, choose to travel to a place where every single one of your family members will find something they enjoy, something they’re passionate about. And what place could be more suited to this task than the Galapagos Islands?
The Galapagos Islands are a volcanic archipelago located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, known around the world as the place that inspired Charles Darwin to write his famous treatise on evolution, The Origin of the Species. There’s a lot more to Galapagos than meets the eye, however. If you’ve ever watched a famous movie set in the islands, such as Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, you’ll know that the islands are both stunningly beautiful and replete with unique natural wonders. Thanks to the islands’ inimitable natural and geographical diversity, you’ll quickly find that there’s activities suited to every taste. It really is impossible to feel bored in the Galapagos Islands!
We’ve created a list of some activities you will be able to enjoy as a family during your trip. Whether you choose to stay in hotels or in one of Metropolitan Touring’s staple cruises (Santa Cruz II is ideally suited for families), you’ll find that an extensive entourage of activities and opportunities will be available to you at all times. Join us and discover some of the most celebrated among them:
Snorkeling: León Dormido
León Dormido, or sleeping lion, is a small, rocky island off the coast of San Cristóbal, one of the Galápagos most populated areas. It is an ideal spot for snorkeling or scuba diving: the rock is split in the middle by a large trench that’s accessible to the public. The rock offers a spectacular diversity of fish and other sealife for your family to enjoy. Dive into the crystalline waters and explore the colorful depths, replete with manta rays, parrot fish, and, on lucky days, baby sea lions. This is an excellent place for families to explore and learn about the local ecosystem while enjoying a refreshing swim, as well as an ideal place to scuba dive.
Mysteries of Floreana
The island of Floreana is legendary among the Galapagos archipelago, having been the host of one of its most endearing mysteries. Floreana was inhabited by several people during the last century, most of them European settlers looking to escape from wars and live a simpler life. One of these immigrants was the Baroness von Wagner Bosquet, who arrived with two lovers and proclaimed herself empress of Floreana. After a series of peculiar encounters between the baroness and the islands’ other settlers, things took a turn for the terrifying: the baroness disappeared without a trace and one of her lovers was found dead on a nearby island.
This intriguing mystery has never been solved, but visitors to the island will be able to visit the places that Floreana’s infamous settlers once called home. Families will be able to trek through the rugged landscapes, all while learning about the settler’s lifestyles and uncovering clues about the mysterious arrival in the Galapagos Islands.
When it comes to diverse wildlife, Galapagos is second to none. All over the archipelago, your family will be able to interact with animals unlike any you’ve ever seen: giant tortoises, swimming iguanas, beautiful red-billed frigates, flightless cormorants, sea lions … you name it, it’s there! The Galapagos are also a great place for kids and teenagers to learn firsthand about evolution and its history. Local tour guides will explain the importance of Darwin’s finches in the development of the theory of evolution, and how all of these amazing animals came to live in islands so far away from the mainland. If your family loves animals, few places in the world will offer the incredible diversity and accessibility of the Galapagos!
Food journalist and serial Galapagos travel