We saw a lot of wildlife in the Galapagos – it was excellent! 🙂 There were of course a few things that we weren’t able to see while we were there – but nearly all the wildlife that we COULD HAVE seen on the islands that we visited, we managed to spot! 🙂 So we were very lucky it seems! 🙂
Before we went to the Galapagos, we looked on the internet and found some lists of the ‘Big 15’ – the ‘hitlist’ of the wildlife that visitors to Galapagos should try and see. Here is the ‘big 15’ (not all the ‘big 15’ lists were exactly the same, so we just picked one).
The island where we first saw the animal is written in brackets after the animal, and the items in red are the one’s we didn’t see. So…. 13 out of the big 15 – NOT BAD! 🙂
Waved albatross (Española)
Blue-footed booby (San Cristóbal)
Nasca booby (Española)
Red-footed booby (San Cristóbal)
American flamingo (Isabela)
Frigatebirds [great and magnificent] (San Cristóbal)
Galapagos hawk (Española)
Galapagos land iguana (North Seymour)
Marine iguana (San Cristóbal)
Santa Fe land iguana
Galapagos penguin (Isabela)
Galapagos sea lion (San Cristóbal)
Galapagos fur seal (Isabela)
Galapagos tortoise (Española)
The flightless cormorant is only found on Fernandina and the far side of Isabela – so it’s not possible to see this bird without taking a cruise. The Santa Fe land iguana is only found on the island of Santa Fe, which we did not visit (although it is possible to visit without a cruise).
The Galapagos penguin and the Galapagos fur seal were the two LUCKY sightings, as there is no place on the islands that we visited where they are guaranteed to be there. The easiest animals to spot are sea lions and marine iguanas – it would be practically impossible to visit the Galapagos and not see them!
Before we went, we also added a few ‘non big 15’ animals to our list of things that we wanted to see:
Sally lightfoot crab
Yellow-crowned night heron
I can happily report that we saw all of these too! 🙂
As far as the underwater wildlife goes, we were pretty pleased to see lots of turtles and sharks, and also some rays – as well as a ‘bonus’ sea snake. The main ‘big’ item that we didn’t see, that most people expect to see in the Galapagos was the ‘Scalloped hammerhead shark’. It can be found easily enough by going on the snorkel tour to Kicker rock – but this was something that we didn’t do.
Overall, we couldn’t have been much happier with what we saw!! 🙂