We decided to explore the Galápagos Islands by boat, rather than staying on one of the main islands and doing day trips. It’s impossible to visit some of the smaller islands without doing a cruise so we didn’t want to risk leaving anything out.
We were on a catamaran with 8 other couples and about 10 staff. It was definitely the right choice for us, majority of the other boats are large cruise ships with 50+ passengers.
Each day we had an itinerary planned for us which involved both land and water activities. The snorkelling was amazing but SO cold. We all wore wetsuits and were provided snorkels and fins but it was hard to stay warm. Luckily we didn’t have to be in the water long before seeing seals, turtles, plenty of fish, sharks and even a sea snake. The marine life is amazing. We snorkelled at a new place every day and each place was full of new things to see.
The day activities weren’t too strenuous, we left the boat for a couple of hours each day to explore and learn about each of the islands. We saw plenty of seals (in and out of the water) lots of iguanas, blue footed boobies, frigatebirds, hawks and albatrosses.
One of the attractions we visited was Post Office Bay, on Floreana Island, which was used in the 18th century by whalers. They would send letters to loved ones and leave them in a barrel at Post Office Bay in the hope that the letters would be collected by sailors returning home and posted once they returned back to the mainland. Now it is more of a tourist attraction however tourists leave postcards and letters in the barrel with the same intention as the whalers, that the next boat will come by and deliver their letters and cards to loved ones. We read a few postcards and took one home that was addressed to a family in New South Whales. Some of the postcards had been there for months and some only a week or two.
The main highlights for us were the marine iguanas at Tortuga beach, snorkelling up close to the sea turtles (they were not fazed by humans at all!) and the giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island.