12 reasons for traveling to Galapagos with kids
Few things can beat a trip to the beach when you are a kid. Spending days lying under the sun, swimming in the ocean, and making sandcastles is enough to make their day. Add to that the unique wildlife, the numerous family activities from which they can learn and have fun, and the importance of caring for and preserving our natural environments.
If you are considering an adventure in Galapagos with kids, staying at Santa Cruz’s only beachfront hotel – the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel – is the best way to go. Fill your days with exploration and adventure, and give yourself some moments of well-deserved relaxation. At the same time, your kids will have the time of their lives in Galapagos. Imagine an out-of-this-world Galapagos islands travel with kids’ experience, and read on to learn about our top reasons why Galapagos is an ideal kid’s destination.
1. The Beaches
Galapagos is home to some of Ecuador’s and even the world’s most beautiful beaches. Tortuga Bay, located within walking distance from Puerto Ayora, was selected as one of the world’s best beaches. After a 45-minute walk down the cobble-stone trail, you will first arrive at Playa Brava, a beautiful long beach known for its strong currents, but wait to stop here.
Keep walking down the beach and follow the shoreline to Tortuga Bay: its calm, protected waters and the shade of mangroves make for the perfect spot to spend the morning or afternoon with the family. And if you wish to explore further, visit El Garrapatero Beach (a 30-minute taxi ride from Puerto Ayora) or Las Bachas. Or stay at Finch’s secluded beach – Playa de Los Alemanes! These gorgeous, white-sand beaches are teeming with life that will make for unforgettable memories. Galapagos, for kids, wouldn’t be the perfect place without going to the beach.
2. Aquatic Activities
Snorkeling in Galapagos with kids is one of the most magical experiences you’ll have in the archipelago. The best part? They’re teeming with a near overabundance of life below. So, strap on those fins and try snorkeling: you’re about to experience a vast and vivid underwater aquarium. Kids, while snorkeling, can see one of the seven wonders of the underwater world and might even swim with a playful Galapagos sea lion pup!
3. Everything is Bigger, Everything is Smaller!
We all remember how much more significant things were when we were kids. The Galapagos offers adults and children the chance to experience that together. With an abundance of vast, mind-bending terrains and underground lava tunnels that look like they’re from another world. To the Galapagos giant tortoises that stroll around the Enchanted Isles, a place that humbles and mesmerizes by the sheer size of the things it hosts. Oh, and did we mention that Galapagos is home to one of the tallest species of daisies in the world?
4. Galapagos is a Cageless Zoo
Galapagos for kids, is like being inside a nature documentary where animals peacefully coexist and show absolutely zero fear in the presence of humans. Land and marine iguanas amble by the trails and beaches while Galapagos sea lions waddle ashore and sit next to where you’re lying. You can explore forests, beaches, or craters while looking for diverse wildlife. Plenty of guided tours are available, offering a comprehensive look at what the island offers and providing more detailed information about the local flora and fauna.
5. The Galapagos Inspires Kids to Care for Nature
Adults will look at how well these animals coexist with our presence. It might even seem trivial for kids to live alongside animals so peacefully, mainly because it us back to how natural this way of life is. If this can happen on the scale of the Galapagos islands, kids will feel encouraged to take the memories of the islands back with them and continue to respect nature the way they saw it was possible.
6. Hiking along the islands’ trails and beaches
Explore the otherworldly landscapes formed by volcanic activity, some as recent as last year. Hikes in Galapagos vary from island to island and give visitors a chance to learn first-hand about geology. And, of course, to get a selfie distance away from fearless iconic island wildlife. Galapagos is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, from giant tortoises and sea lions to Darwin’s finches. Hiking in Galapagos with kids offers the opportunity to encounter some of nature’s most beautiful creatures.
7. Exploring local wildlife sanctuaries and marine reserves
There’s always so much to see and do in the Galapagos Islands with kids! This natural paradise has incredible landscapes, beaches, vegetation, animals, and more! So, kids in Galapagos can get ready to see some unique animals. On Bartolome Island, The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin to live north of the equator, and the sea lion, with its playful nature. The Galapagos Islands is the only place to see the remarkable marine iguana. This species is the only lizard with aquatic adaptations for swimming and foraging in the sea.
8. Visit to Charles Darwin Research Station
The Charles Darwin Research Station is a nonprofit organization located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. It was inaugurated in 1964 so scientists could use the station as a base for their research. There is a great interpretation center for kids to deepen and broaden their knowledge. Also, they can wander through the tortoise-rearing program facilities.
9. Visiting Bachas Beach for Turtle Nesting Site
One of the largest nesting sites for turtles is found at Bachas Beach. Females lay eggs, and baby turtles hatch at night to avoid predators. For this reason, it is unusual for tourists to see action at the nesting sites. You can see the tell-tale flipper paths left in the sand leading up to nesting holes on higher ground. Sometimes recently hatched baby turtles are attracted to yacht lights at nighttime, especially close to nesting sites. Galapagos sea turtles can be spotted in the sea all year round. Nesting season runs from December to March, and baby hatchlings are most common around May.
10. Tour of nearby Giant Tortoise Reserve
The giant tortoise is one of the most iconic Galapagos animals. A visit to the Galapagos islands with kids would only be complete with ticking them off your bucket list. A fantastic idea in Galapagos with kids is a tour of a Giant Tortoise Reserve. Home of one of the many species of Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis nigra), the largest living tortoise species. In the highlands of Santa Cruz, there is a natural preserve home to some of the world’s largest tortoises.
El Chato Galapagos
- Created in 1959 to protect the giant tortoise population and its habitat.
- The perfect place to see them in their natural habitat.
- They wallow in mud pools, crunch on green shoots, and are free to wander around this huge reserve.
- The 12-hectare area is made up of lush green pasture and Scalesia forest combined with muddy pools.
11. Learning about conservation efforts on the islands from the locals
The Galapagos Islands are known worldwide for the biodiversity of unique flora and fauna. Galapagos for kids is the perfect place to learn about conservation, and what’s better than learning about those efforts from the locales? Learn about the conservation efforts that help preserve the wildlife and the ecosystem so we can keep enjoying this incredible archipelago. Galapagos conservation focuses on everything from breeding programs to protect endangered species to eradicating human-introduced species, recycling programs, and cleaning up the ocean.
12. Exploring the lava formations
The Galapagos Archipelago formed due to the submarine Galapagos hotspot, which has spouted molten lava from the earth’s surface for several millennia. As the lava exploded, poured over the islands, cooled, and mixed with seawater, it formed some spectacular geologic rock formations. Here are some of the most famous volcanic formations in the Galapagos for you to visit.
Some of the most famous volcanic formations
- Kicker Rock, located north of San Cristobal Island. This formation rises out from the ocean surface like an enormous shark fin.
- Las Grietas, on Santa Cruz, is a secluded lagoon formed as two enormous cliffs moved apart.
- Pinnacle Rock, located on Bartolome Island, is the most photographed image in the archipelago.
- Sullivan Bay: fields of recent lava that still show the swirls and flows from a once liquid phase.
Unforgettable Family Adventures Await
Spending days lying under the sun, swimming in the ocean, and making sandcastles is enough to make their day. If you are considering an adventure in Galapagos with kids, staying at Santa Cruz’s only beachfront hotel – the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel – is the best way to go. Guided and exclusive day tours are available aboard our Sea Lion Yacht. An adventure in the Galapagos with kids offers a unique wildlife experience, activities, and the importance of caring for and preserving our habitat.