You really can’t understate the difference in wildlife viewing in the Galapagos Islands to anywhere in the world. It is so unique. Due to the lack of natural predators (the Galapagos Hawk is quite a small bird of prey and is at the top of the food chain) the animals have a fearlessness that makes them incredibly tame. Land Iguanas block the trail and have no intent of moving as you approach. Because of their apparent disinterest in humans being in their territory you witness some incredible behaviour. We saw a Nazca booby steal a baby frigatebirds nest, only for the mother of the baby frigate bird to swoop down and make the Nazca booby flee. I saw a red footy booby dive on a hammerhead shark as it was feeding, narrowly escaping with its life. Mating birds and animals are common to see at some times of the year. Birds will nest right next to the trail and tend to their egg and you can sit next to them at watch this knowing they have no need to defend themselves or become distressed. I saw dozens of male great frigate birds puff out their huge red pouches and perform a short dance when a female flies overhead to attract a mate. Sea lions not only laze around on nearly every beach and landing site with no intention of moving when you are close to them, but the sea lion pups will actually come up to you to play and even tug your flipper while snorkelling with them. The bird and animal world is played out in front of your eyes and nowhere in the world can you have this interaction and this incredibly intimate encounter with wildlife.
As long of the National Park authorities continue their commitment to preserving the archipelago and people listen to their guides and respect the wildlife and the rules of the National Park, the Galapagos Islands will continue to be one of the world’s most unique and breathtaking wildlife destinations. Just make sure you watch your step!