The fun and novelty never ends in the Galapagos! With incredibly unique wildlife and otherworldly landscapes, the enchanted isles delights with the presence of places and creatures seldom found anywhere else in the world! That’s why, as a follow up to last time’s Top 3 Things You Can Only Do in Galapagos, we’ve created this second list of things that visitors can come away with and proudly say that ONLY in the Galapagos did they get to experience such unequivocal species and beautiful sites! These are things that all of our guests will get to experience aboard the Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise. The fun never has to end either, for each itinerary aboard the Santa Cruz II offers its own unique set of iconic species in the Galapagos (otherwise known as our BIG15 group).
Get Up Close and Curious with the Galapagos Giant Tortoise
Lethargic and mesmerizing by their very nature, these giant, ambling creatures fascinate newcomers with their sheer size and remarkable ability to passively allow spectators examine them up close. Often times they’ll keep on minding their own business – “business” that usually involves slowly munching on the thousands of green leaves that surround them. It’s an open buffet for these gargantuan creatures, and visitors that get a chance to explore the highlands of Santa Cruz Island (available on our Eastern and Western Itineraries throughout the archipelago) you’ll get to experience them out in the open, right in their home pastures. Alternatively, you can also experience them over at the Charles Darwin Research Centre where they are bred in captivity. Either way, you’ll find yourself mesmerized by these hulking and friendly giants, with their long accordion necks (that stretch in and out from their shell dramatically).
Bonus: Participate in a Giant Tortoise Shell Race!
Up in the highlands, at the Galapagos giant tortoise reserve, you’ll get the chance to literally try on (more like enter through) the giant, superbly heavy and hollowed-out shell of the very creature! If you’re feeling extra bold, you might even summon the guts to try and race a friend or family member while donning the colossal shells! You’ll discover why it is they move so slow once you try one on!
Check out the Galapagos Penguin
The image of a penguin in the tropics often clashes with our common understanding of this little animal. Not so in Galapagos. Throughout your visit you’ll get to see and believe it with your own eyes – penguins can totally co-exist with warmer climates! The penguins you’ll get to experience are the only ones in the world that have managed to live north of the equator!
Partake in an Old Pirate & Whaling Tradition
A big piece of advice before coming to Galapagos: Make sure you bring the home addresses of your loved ones! This is so that you can send them a postcard without the need of a postage stamp! Over on Floreana, at the aptly-named Post Office Bay, a tradition that originated with pirates and whalers that frequented this same site continues to this day. It involves a small barrel and a letter-exchange system whereby people deposit their hand-written postcard inside and hope that other travelers (passing through and headed home) will happen to live near the designated address on the postcards. The rule is you have to deliver it in person!