Explore's Louise Adlam travelled to the Galapagos Islands to see the species that helped inspire Charles Darwin to write his ground-breaking 'On the Origin of the Species' which was published in 1859.
"I travelled to the Galapagos Islands during a holiday to Ecuador and it was the highlight of my trip. Being an animal lover, I’ve always been intrigued to see them and I certainly wasn’t left disappointed. In just three days I saw more wildlife than I would have expected to see in three weeks. The biggest surprise though was how confident the animals were with humans - birds land more or less on your feet and iguanas laze on the beach, not even flinching when people walk by them. One sea-front hotel is even frequented by a sea lion who’s a regular around the pool, and takes it upon himself to spend most of his days lazing on a sun-bed next to the guests!
While on Santa Cruz I met a host of Giant tortoise species whose shells vary from island to island - they're what helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution. It’s really interesting to see how the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands has evolved. I also managed to spot some blue-footed boobies which really are beautiful birds.
It’s not just the wildlife above the water that’s endemic to the Galapagos Islands. I had the fantastic opportunity to join a boat trip to Santa Fe, where I went snorkelling with sea lions, sharks and turtles. I also spotted marine iguanas which have evolved to swim for prolonged lengths of time underwater while they search for food which is sparse inland. Snorkelling off the coast of Santa Fe was a truly unforgettable experience and to top it all off, a humpback whale jumped out of the water about 200 metres away from me while I was in the water, an experience that you really couldn’t plan.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most amazing places I have ever visited and I would recommend everyone takes a trip to them at some point in their lives. I definitely hope to return one day to see what other unique wildlife I can find in these enchanting islands."
Louise Adlam PR Officer