Activities in the Galapagos Islands
There are plenty of opportunities to be active in the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy short walks or hikes, kayaking and mountain biking amongst the varied scenery.
We went kayaking in the morning. This is a nice gentle kayak route around the bay near Tintoreras. Although we had been here on the cruise this is a different way to see it and it’s nice to be so close to penguins, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and herons.
The varied terrain of the Galapagos Islands provides ample opportunities for varied activities as you explore and enjoy the views and encounter wildlife. As well as guided beach walks you can exert yourself a little more with an energetic hike through volcanic landscape or an exhilarating bike ride in the highlands. Kayaking enables you to spend time close to the water and marine life, while stand-up paddle-boarding has become a firm favourite in recent years. Whether you’re on a cruise or staying on land, you can add some adventure to your Galapagos holiday with activities such as the ones below.
- Hike to Sierra Negra crater: Without doubt this is one of the best hikes and offers stunning panoramic vistas of the world’s second-largest caldera, Isabela’s coasts and the ocean. The hike is not challenging but you need to be reasonably fit to enjoy it to the full. You ascend through bush vegetation to the rim of the caldera, about 10km across. The views into and across the crater are spectacular. From here you pass into arid volcanic terrain complete with lava flows, pausing to admire the far-reaching views and to take some photos before heading back down. In all it takes about four hours.
- Paddle your own kayak: Kayaking is a lovely way to explore the calm ocean waters, discover secluded bays and, free of engine noise, get close to birds and marine wildlife. You don’t need prior experience as guidance is at hand and double canoes are available to let novices and youngsters explore in absolute safety and security. There are great kayaking spots throughout the islands and many vessels and lodges have kayaks either free to use or to hire.
- Two-wheeled adventures: Mountain biking is a good way to explore independently or with a guide. Pedal along flat and hilly routes, coastal trails and highland tracks. One of our favourite rides sets out from Puerto Villamil on Isabela island, first cycling by the beach then through the wetlands where you might have to make way for giant tortoises and up to the Wall of Tears. This chilling edifice was painstakingly built by prisoners of the former penal colony, worth taking time to ponder before you turn around and cycle back to town. It’s about a 14kms round trip, mainly uphill on the way out but that means it’s easier going back!