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Image of From giant tortoises to iguanas - see the colorful animals of the Galapagos

Think about all the animals you see in your life. What are they? They could be cats, dogs, pigeons, fish, or horses. Now, imagine what animals they have on a small island chain of Ecuador, which are the Galapagos Islands.  It might not sound that interesting, but these little populated atolls hold some of the most diverse animals on the planet. Their birds look incredibly different. You walk around and see a giant tortoise at the zoo or iguanas at the beach. Now let me tell you what it was like to visit this remarkable place.  

Galaagos Tortoise Santa Cruz
My mom and I behind a giant tortoise

The most famous animal of the Galapagos is the giant tortoise. When I say giant, I mean giant! They are almost 5 feet long! They originated of the islands and evolved and adapted over time, from island to island. I remember going to their zoo and seeing them.   I was a bit scared when I got up close; because the guide told we not to touch the tortoises because then you would disrupt their ecosystem. As I walked up to the tortoise, thoughts rushed through my brain about touching the tortoise.  Luckily, I did not touch the tortoise. Lonesome George was a famous tortoise that was the last of his species.They were amazing to see, and probably about 100 years old. I definitely suggest seeing the tortoises

Galapagos Iguana
an iguana on a rock in the Galapagos

Another very important animal is the iguanas. They have tons of iguanas on the islands, and I saw many of them too. We once went to a beach. Unlike normal beaches in the US, or anywhere else in the world, the beach was infested with hundreds of iguanas. It looked so cool to see them. You could see them as often as you would see dogs at the dog beach. When we saw the there was a whole kindergarten of them. On the other days, I saw only a few iguanas, but not as much as the one day. I do not think I had ever seen an iguana before that one vacation. They might not be as cool as the tortoises to see, but they are still very cool.

Galapagos Bird
 A bird sitting right next to us during lunch

One very cool animal to see are the birds. When you look outside in big cities you see tons of dirty pigeons, and sometimes maybe a seagull, or some other dirty bird. In the Galapagos, instead of seeing dirty birds, you see beautiful, clean birds. I was just walking down the main town when a bird with a red chin that expanded came and flew over us. This was called a frigate bird, and apparently they are a common bird to see in the Galapagos. Another famous bird is the blue footed boobies, which we saw on our snorkeling tour. This variety of birds looked very cool, for birds. Now, imagine if you saw those birds in your everyday life. Even a pigeon landed right next to us when I was just lounging. Now, are the birds of the Galapagos better than the seagulls and city pigeons of the rest of the world?

The most playful animal of the islands is the sea lion. Imagine just sitting down, eating lunch, when a sea lion came up to you. Sea Lions were so cool to see up close. There was one time where I was snorkeling, and a few feet away a sea lion jumped from the water. I started to swim with it. So I guess you could say I swam with a sea lion. Our hotel, Red Mangrove, had sea lions right next to you on the lounge chairs. I saw so many sea lions on that trip I think I got sick of them. They were some of the most playful animals on the islands. I wish I could see them in my everyday life.

Galapagos sealion isabela island
A sea lion lays on a bench

My last animal is a shark. You might think of sharks as being horrible killing animals that need to be stopped. In the Galapagos, they actually do not eat humans. They are very grumpy, as one guide explained it. The guide said that they had a buffet of food, like fish and sea lions. He told us that the sea lions wanted to play, but the shark was always grumpy and never played. One day when we were snorkeling, I saw a dark fin right below me. I was so freaked out and worried that it would eat me. Then the guide told me that they do not eat people. My mom said that she saw five sharks. Looking back, it was a very cool moment, to see a shark that would not bother you. I do recommend seeing them, even though it takes courage.

Now think back at those animals in your life. The animals of the Galapagos seem pretty different, right? Which one would you prefer: the place where when you go there you see amazing animals like iguanas, sea lions, and sharks in daily life; or the place where you see similar animals every day in your city? I would choose the Galapagos. Now that I have told you about the islands, I hope you want to go there and see this awesome place too.

galapagos sea lion
blue footed boobies Galapagos
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