Galapagos Islands

Blog posts about IE's Galapagos tours, as well as news and ecotourism.
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There are many reasons to travel to the Galapagos Islands, but the diverse, approachable wildlife is one of the most popular reasons for people to visit the archipelago. Besides Charles Darwin's finches, perhaps the most famous inhabitants of the Galapagos are the tortoises — and these islands includes a few famous ones.

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The plants and animals found on Galapagos that helped Darwin form his Theory of Evolution are exactly what makes a Galapagos cruise unforgettable. There are many endemic birds on the archipelago, including the Galapagos flycatcher. This small bird is also called the large-billed flycatcher even though its bill is not that big in size compared to the bird itself.

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The Galapagos Islands are so isolated that many animals living there have evolved into entirely new species from their mainland counterparts, and the sea lions that make their home on the islands are no different. They are a subspecies of the California sea lion and can often be seen sunning themselves on the island shores in large groups. Nature travel enthusiasts on International Expeditions’ Galapagos Islands cruises will spend seven days in the constant company of these marine mammals as they sunbathe and splash in the cool Pacific waters.

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When visiting the Galapagos Islands, you will see interesting creatures from blue-footed boobies and Galapagos iguanas to giant tortoises and a slew of endemic finches.

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When you consider some of Latin America's greatest landmarks, it's no surprise that it's such a playground for the adventure seeker. Arenal Volcano, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef are just a few of the most notable landmarks.

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The passion flower is one of the few hundred endemic plant species of the Galapagos Islands. Passion flowers can be found in South American, but only those growing on the Galapagos are white — others are purple or red. The white flowers that bloom on the islands are the most common variant of the species, which has earned them the title of the official flower of the Galapagos.

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The Galapagos Islands are legendary for their population of curious, approachable wildlife, and South Plaza island — one of the smallest in the chain — is a great place to see many of the Galapagos' endemic creatures.

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Lonesome George, the giant tortoise that became perhaps the best-known resident of Galapagos Islands passed away this past Sunday in his pen at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Scientists estimate that he was around 100 years old.

According to Galapagos National Park officials, Fausto Llerena, George’s keeper for 40 years, found him dead in his corral. With George’s passing, the Pinta Island subspecies of giant tortoise is now considered extinct.

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The Galapagos Islands are known for the diverse array of plants and animals that call the archipelago home and few are more powerful than the Galapagos hawk. This predatory bird is one of the few animals that prey on other large creatures on the islands, and is the only raptor living on the Galapagos Islands. The hawks are also active during the day, which means you're likely to see them circling the skies during International Expeditions’ small ship cruises to the Galapagos.

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Dear Traveler,

Just a few days ago, someone asked me to really define what kind of journeys International Expeditions offers. The terms we so commonly use — like nature travel and ecotourism — did not seem descriptive enough. So I came up with a statement focusing less on who WE are and more on what YOU experience.

IE guests discover the world through small group experiences where they are immersed in the nature and local culture of Earth’s greatest wilderness regions.

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