South America Travel News

Never seen a blue-footed booby? You will on a Galapagos tour

Ever since Charles Darwin first set foot on the Galapagos, little has changed in the area, particularly because the flora and fauna have been left to thrive, much to the joy of scientists and nature lovers around the world. It was here that he developed his ever-controversial Theory of Evolution, and biologists are still finding more evidence to support his original findings. During a tour of the Galapagos, you'll encounter some of the most peculiar creatures in the world, from the blue-footed booby to the slow-moving giant tortoise.

Here's a rundown of which animals you might have a rendezvous with during your Galapagos tour:

The blue-footed booby
The blue-footed booby's name comes from the Spanish word bobo, which means something along the lines of stupid, silly, or foolish (like the dodo bird). That being said, these shore-dwelling birds live on just about every island in the archipelago, giving you ample opportunities to catch them during Galapagos tours. If it's name didn't give you enough of a hint, these birds have bright turquoise feet, which the males use to attract females during mating dances.

If you're on Darwin, Wolf or Tower islands, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive red-footed booby - just as goofy looking and fascinating.

Giant tortoises
The world's largest species of tortoise calls the Galapagos its home throughout the year. At their largest, they weigh nearly 1,000 pounds and span nearly six feet long from head to toe. Because they move so slowly, Galapagos tortoises typically live more than 100 years, with the oldest specimen on record having lived for just over 170 years before she passwed away. On your Galapagos tour, you can find them in the wild on a number of islands, including Santa Cruz, La Pinta and Isabela.

Whale sharks
Although they're not native to the Galapagos, whale sharks are truly a magnificent animal and if you have the chance to jump into the water with one, you won't soon forget the experience. These gentle giants frequent the warm waters off the Galapagos Islands, giving you ample opportunities to swim with them if you're feeling brave. When you first see these majestic fish approaching you in the clear blue waters, you may be a bit scared, but their beauty transcends their size and you'll soon wish that you never had to leave them.

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