Travelers head to the Galapagos with one mission in mind: to observe the islands' amazing wildlife up close. Giant tortoises, fur seals, land and marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, cormorants and brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crabs are among the creatures that can be seen here.
On San Salvador, you can hike over lava tubes and tuff cones to a terrific view of Pinnacle Rock, where sea lions and penguins dwell. Scuba divers and snorkelers should be on the lookout for marine turtles, mantas, reef fish and sharks. The island of Punta Suarez has a lovely white-sand beach at Bahia Gardner for swimming.
The town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz has restaurants serving Ecuadorian cuisine and shops showcasing the works of local artisans. East of Puerto Ayora, the Charles Darwin Research Station gives visitors an informative look at the Galapagos' unique environment and creatures.