Mona Helen Preuss
Floating in the Pacific Ocean, our heads just above the water, we’re eye-to-eye with a tropical penguin standing on a rocky outcropping. He shifts from foot to foot, tilting his head as he eyes us with a look of curiosity.
It’s no mistake that the Galapagos Islands are known as Las Islas Encantadas; they are enchanted, indeed, and each moment generally tops the next with wow factor. Wildlife encounters, phantasmic geology, and spectacular scenery keep the oohs and ahhs coming.
The best way to tour the islands is by cruise, and we were lucky enough to book last-minute passage on La Pinta, a yacht with top-notch service, first-class food, and comfortable cabins for 48 passengers. The National Park Service strictly regulates where, when, and how licensed tour operators can visit the islands. For visitors, this translates into an intimate experience with the land and its inhabitants. Birds and sea creatures are completely unafraid of approaching humans.
During our week in the islands, we swam with sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and reef sharks, walked along deserted white sand beaches, saw a blue-footed booby hatching, ambled green hillsides with giant tortoises, watched the mating rituals of several different species, climbed lava tubes and viewed the world from the top of an extinct volcano. The view was mighty fine, but don’t take our word for it; come see for yourself.
Book this bucket list destination, all transfers included, at www.metropolitan-touring.com/GalapagosIslandsTours