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Cruising in the Galapagos is one of the most unique and exciting experiences anyone can have. Filled with some of the world's brightest colours, never-ending sunshine and, of course, spectacular nature; this set of islands is the place where two days are never the same. So, what would you do in a typical day in the Galapagos?
The Galapagos has so much to see and offer, the only way to truly make the most of your time is by starting the day as early as possible.
There is usually a wakeup call at around 7am, so that you have enough time to prepare yourself for the day, you might want to get up a little earlier to enjoy the sunrise. Take your shower, get dressed, and join the rest of the travellers for a delicious breakfast buffet. You will need all the energy you can gather, so eat as much as you would like. There will be plenty of bacon, eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, and coffee, so that you feel fully awake by the end of your tasty meal.
Once breakfast is finished you will start preparing yourself for the first activities of the day. These include - a morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus where, if you are lucky enough, you might spot the famous Galapagos land iguana which can only found in this part of the world. You could also be doing some snorkelling, swimming, scuba diving, mountain biking, or kayaking. Depending on your itinerary, there might also be an opportunity to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre.
Whatever you do, don't forget to really seize the moment, and take advantage of every second on this land of remarkable nature.
By the time you are finished with your morning activities it will be time to return to the boat and enjoy another delicious meal – lunch! As you are in a different country you might be expecting to see some different dishes awaiting you on the boat. Usually lunch is served buffet-style and includes lots of seafood, salads, deserts, and if you are lucky, even some local Ecuadorian food. If this is the case on your boat, then you will have the chance to try some Ecuadorian-style beef, chicken, seafood, rice, lentils, pasta, or plantain.
Lunchtime provides a great opportunity for sharing your impressions of the Galapagos with the other travellers, as well as to ask your guide questions. You will have plenty of time to do all this and more, as during lunch and after it, the ship moves to a new site where your afternoon excursion will take place.
You will probably be feeling a little sleepy after a delicious lunch and would no doubt appreciate some quiet 'me' time. - You can take a nap, write postcards, read a book, or simply enjoy the stunning views from the vessel. For those who enjoy a bit more excitement, on some cruises the naturalist guides will offer optional talks about the Galapagos. These talks are great for those who want to learn more about the islands, as the guides will share their insights about the Galapagos’ geology, history, Charles Darwin's voyage here, the marine currents, and more.
With all the fantastic onboard distractions, before you know it, you will be in another part of the Galapagos and ready for the next excursion. Your second activity of the day may include; visiting sea lions or iguanas while they relax on the beach, or it could also be a panga ride around an island which allows you to get close to nesting seabirds. These are perfect opportunities to observe what is around you and take countless pictures of all the Galapagos’ unique wildlife.
Another curious but understandable fact is that in between your activities from place to place you will have to wash away any remaining dust from your shoes to prevent seeds from entering a new island, and ultimately, altering its special wildlife. Something that you don't have to do everywhere, but it is certainly highly necessary when in the Galapagos.
By mid-afternoon, your boat will have navigated to another bay or island and there might be time for another beach-landing and some time to relax and swim in the turquoise water. A good example of this could be 'South Plaza Island', where you will find turquoise waters contrasting brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. There is also a huge carpet of scarlet sesuvium as well as green prickly-pear cactus. Here you can sport yellow-grey land iguanas sitting beneath the cactus and waiting for pears to drop. A little bit further along on the coastline you will finds sea lion colonies, while frigate-birds, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals.
As the sun sets in the beautiful Galapagos Islands, your activities end. It is time to return to the ship and begin a lovely evening onboard.
You can start it by having a cocktail on deck, followed by a delicious a la carte dinner. You will be able to enjoy a delicious three-course meal, along with international wines of your choice. Dinner time is also a great time to catch up with everyone, hear their thoughts on the day's activities as well as to discuss everyone's expectations for the next great days and activities ahead.
There will also be an evening briefing from your guide so that you are ready for the following day. The guide will take you through which type of landing you will be doing, what you should wear, what to look out for, and more. In case, guests are leaving the next day, the briefing is an equally important time, as the guides will advise on what to expect at the airport, how to pay the bar tab, as well as other useful information.
After all the food and conversation, you can still indulge in some more relaxation time by watching a good film, reading a book or even heading up on to the deck for some fresh air or for a unique moment of Galapagos stargazing. The islands are as beautiful in the moonlight as they are in the morning, so do indulge in this too. Sometimes if the ship is in a port there might be an opportunity to invite musicians and/or dancers aboard so that the guest can enjoy a different evening and make some more fantastic memories.
Many guests prefer to return to their cabins right after dinner as the day's activities can be quite tiring (in a good way!), and rest is very much a priority in the evening. Whatever you decide to do, it is guaranteed that you will enjoy it, as boredom is never possible when in the Galapagos. As you sleep and regain your energy for the next day, the ship continues to move towards the next stop. By morning, the sun will be up, the boat will have arrived somewhere new, and you will be ready for yet another unforgettable day in the Galapagos.
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