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Paradise on Earth: Galapagos and my dream vacation

We got to see majestic tortoises, swim with sea lions and chill with the iguana lizards that Galapagos is famed for.

Galapagos has been on my bucket list for a while and I was very excited to be able to cross it off. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and more. We got to see majestic tortoises, swim with sea lions and chill with the iguana lizards that Galapagos is famed for. 

The first day was very relaxing and we gave ourselves time to orient ourselves. We trekked up Cerro Tijeretas and it was amazing that the animals on the island are so untouched by human contact that they won’t run away from you. It was particularly cool that we could get up close and selfie with the Blue footed Boobies, a bird species in Galapagos. An interesting fact about them is that the males actually show off their feet to potential mates. Apparently the bluer their feet, the more desirable they are. We spent some time bird watching before diving head first into the activities - literally!

It was especially exhilarating when we went swimming with the hammerheads. They are considered one of the most deadly sharks in the world but according to our guide, they rarely - if ever - attack humans. I don’t know how to tell you how awe-inspiring it is to have an entire school of hammerheads swimming around us. They paid us no heed but my heart was pounding. I almost chickened out before joining my buddies in the water. I have come so far, it would be a shame to miss out on such an amazing experience. For those who are looking to swim with sharks but unwilling to go head to head with these predators can opt to swim with whitetip sharks instead.

Our guide told us that if we were lucky, we would even see some orcas, but no such luck. We swam with hammerheads but not killer whales - more reason to return to the beautiful island of Galapagos. 

One of the most underrated spots on the island is Tortuga Bay and it’s a place I would like to spend more time at, the next time I get the chance to visit Galapagos again. The iguanas that littered the beach were huge and they would just chill beside you and while it might be a little intimidating, given how sinister they look, they will leave you alone as long as you don’t try to manhandle them. We spent a good half of the morning chasing after iguanas and taking their photos. It’s so surreal that there is a place on this planet where the animals are so unacclimated to humans and we are able to co-exist side by side. It almost makes me sad how animals have learnt to fear humans out in developed areas. 

Galapagos is no doubt a paradise on earth, it is one of the rare places on the planet where you feel as though you’re in an entirely different world. Furthermore, the ecology of the island is very interesting: hot on land and cold underwater. The destination has always been a favorite of ecologists, but now it’s also becoming a popular with tourists. I can’t wait to make another trip and hopefully see orcas next time round. 

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Anton Lucanus

My work as a scientist has taken me around the world. I have a passion for traveling and exploring the world's most interesting cities. For work, I am currently attempting to build 10,000 digital libraries across the ...