Galapagos Islands

Blog posts about IE's Galapagos tours, as well as news and ecotourism.

Yesterday marked a huge milestone in the history of Galapagos Islands exploration. Thanks to a unique partnership between Google, the Charles Darwin Foudation, Galapagos National Park and Catlin Seaview Survey, one billion registered users of can now visit the islands and dip under the waves of the reserve without having to physically travel there through Google's Street View.

There are only an estimated 10,000-25,000 blue whales believed to be still swimming the world's oceans, and lucky guests on International Expeditions Galapagos Islands cruise last week had a memorable encounter with these giant creatures. Blue whales are the largest known animals to have ever lived on Earth, so there was no doubt what they were seeing when guests observed this whale’s huge spout.

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Look out! Not every plant on the Galapagos is safe to touch. This is almost true in any area of the world as there always seems to be a plant of two or even more that can cause severe dermatitis when simply touched. Most people in the U.S. are very much aware of the poison ivy, oaks and sumac. We learn to recognize these plants, especially after a reaction from exposure to these plants. But as I’ve always said, while learning by experience may sometimes be the best method of learning, it is certainly not the most comfortable way. 

June 07, 2013

Island Life: Española

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This week IE’s president Van Perry has been checking-in via satellite phone from his Galapagos Islands cruise. (Be sure to see the highlights here). During the journey, Van learned that Española, the archipelago’s southernmost island, is our naturalist Boli’s favorite island. Here are just a few things you’ll find on Española.

June 05, 2013

Updates from Galapagos

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This week International Expeditions President Van Perry is back aboard the M/V Evolution. His entire family is joining him for an amazing 10-day Galapagos cruise! Thanks to modern technology, being on a remote archipelago 600 miles in the Pacific doesn't mean he can't still check-in with the office. Here are Van's updates.

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The Galapagos fur seal is the smallest fur seal, with six other fur seals in other areas of the world being larger. The scientific name, Arctocephalus, translates to “bear head” as its face and head are small with fairly large ears and a very pointed snout. The Galapagos fur seal has very large eyes which aid in their foraging strategies of being nocturnal. Through long term studies, it appears that fur seals prefer small moon phases for feeding at sea and during full or big moon nights, the fur seals remain ashore. This may be a self-preservation tactic.

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The Sally Lightfoot crab is one of the world’s most beautiful crabs. Wow, how often does one hear the two words “beautiful” and “crab” in the same sentence? Well, this is certainly deserved as this hand-sized crab is ornately colored with red, orange, purple and blue coloration. These gorgeous creatures abound throughout the Galapagos Islands, and their typical niche is right at the tide’s edge on lava rocks. It does not matter if it is high tide, low tide, daylight or dark these crabs are at work feeding on algae.

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