Thursday, August 30, 2012

Latin America Travel: Adventure in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are known for their diverse array of wildlife from penguins to a giant tortoise population, travelers come from all over the world to explore the islands. However wildlife is not the only draw these islands hold, adventure enthusiasts can partake in a variety of activities on the islands. From biking and hiking to kayaking and snorkeling, the Galapagos Islands are the perfect destination for adventure seekers.

The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic isles providing a diverse array of terrain; there are four ecosystems that exist in the Galapagos. This diversity provides great opportunity for catching views of wildlife while doing one of the many adventure activities available.

On your trip to the Galapagos Islands visit the central island of Santa Cruz, the most developed and visited of the islands, it provides great adventure expeditions. Travel to Los Gemelos (The Twins) which are two gigantic collapsed lava chambers where you can explore the natural lava tunnels where lava once flowed. A bike ride is another great way to explore the island, start in El Chato the island's main town and take the 12 mile ride to Puerto Ayoray. On your ride you will encounter some of the island's wildlife while experiencing its beautiful scenery. Another great adventure on the island of Santa Cruz is a kayaking tour. Take the route from Academy Bay to Punta Estrada, which is known for its amazing scenery. Your tour will allow you to catch a glimpse of Galapagos sharks, manta rays, and tropical fish.

Head to the nearby island of Floreana where volcano erosion has created lush landscapes and is home to luxuriant wildlife; take a panga ride just off the shore to view some of the stunning seaside views. The island of Floreana is also famous for the Devil's Crown, a snorkeler's dream. A volcano submerged under water the Devil's crown provides a diverse selection of wildlife to explore from hammerhead sharks and tiger snake eels to tortoises and sea lions. Travelers can also hike on the island; many take the route up the Cerro Pajas or Bird Hill, where many finches call their home. The Cerro Pajas offers spectacular views of the island and sea.

Another great island to explore, Isabela provides great volcanic scenery. Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano which has a spectacular four-mile crater and then continue on to the Volcano Chico; a more difficult hike as it is mostly across sloping lava fields. Isabel Island is also a great place to explore the water, many travelers snorkel off the shores of this island. Take a bike ride on the island along Long Beach, a 1.8 mile stretch of white sand palm-lined beach. This path will lead you to the National Park, where you can continue to explore the wonders of the island.

It doesn't matter what island you travel to on your Galapagos vacation, adventure and spectacular scenery await you. Take a snorkeling or diving adventure or stick to the land with bike rides and hikes, either way explore the beauty of the Galapagos Islands.

This article about adventure activities for your Galapagos vacation was written by a travel expert at Latin America For Less who specializes in helping you organize best value Galapagos tours and fully customizable Latin America vacations.