Take a walk on the wild side with a Galápagos Islands extension in Ecuador. Cruise around the famed archipelago, where you’ll share the shores with a range of native species from the blue-footed boobies to the pint-size penguin. Keep your eyes peeled for Darwin’s finches, marine iguanas, giant tortoises and more. Go snorkelling with rare reef fish, find a frigate bird nesting colony, and relax onboard your expedition-style ship. A meet-and-greet with a colony of sea lions seals the deal on this wondrous extension to your South America holiday.
Head into the highlands of Santa Cruz Island and visit the Giant Tortoise Reserve, home to many wild Galápagos giant tortoises in their native habitat. See and learn about the conservation and breeding programs to protect the endangered tortoise species found here.
Named Bachas as an attempt by locals to pronounce ‘barges’, the island was once the site of US ships during WWII. Nearby ponds provide a paradise for pink flamingos and coastal birds, including Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls – along with marine iguanas amid the mangrove trees.
A true rock star of South Plaza Island is undoubtedly the hybrid iguana which is found nowhere else on earth. The island is the breeding ground for both marine iguanas and land iguanas. The breeding season happens to be simultaneous for both species thereby creating this unique population of hybrid iguanas.