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The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are a unique chain of 19 islands and dozens of islets formed some 3 to 5 million years ago by a series of volcanic eruptions. Located approximately 1,000 kms from the coast of Ecuador, this part of the world offers an opportunity to see wildlife and marvel at landscapes that are unlike anywhere else in the world.

A trip to the Galápagos Islands is a journey to an alternate universe. Here, animals dominate the land and the ocean and people, both locals and some 150,000 visitors, act as mere inconveniences to this incredible corner of planet earth.

Most people visit the islands for a chance to get close and personal with the animals, but what many don’t expect to come across, is the beautiful scenery of volcanic lava rocks, lush highlands, and practically deserted beaches. Galapagos may be one of the most unique destination on earth and one that

On our recent trip to the Galapagos with Galakiwi, we got a chance to visit all 4 inhabited islands of the Galapagos, including San Cristóbal, Floreana (aka Santa Maria), Isabela, and Santa Cruz. We explored the island on land and underwater, we hiked, we biked, we SUP’ed and kayaked to reach the most out of this world spots and get close to the islands’ cutest residents.

These are some of the best photos we snapped during our 2 weeks in the Galapagos.

BE WARNED: We are about to show you some incredible spots and amazing animals that are bound to make you want to visit the Galapagos for yourself.

Kicker Rock, view from the highlands on San Cristobal Island.

Kicker Rock, view from the highlands on San Cristobal Island

The cutest resident sea lion on San Cristobal Island

The cutest resident on San Cristobal Island

Marine iguana, blending in with lava rocks on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Marine iguana, blending in with lava rocks on San Cristobal Island

A group of lazy sea lions catching the mid day rays aboard a fishing boat on San Cristobal Island. Galapagos

A group of lazy sea lions catching the midday rays aboard a fishing boat on San Cristobal Island.

Sunset over Playa Loberia on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Sunset over Playa Loberia on San Cristobal Island

Fred, the town drunk on a bench at the San Cristobal pier, Galapagos

Fred, the town drunk on a bench at the San Cristobal pier. Looks like he had a tough day!

Sweeping views of lush highlands on Floreana Island, Galapagos

Sweeping views of lush highlands on Floreana Island

Sunset SUP on Floreana Island, Galapagos

Sunset SUP on Floreana Island

Blue footed booby eyeing a red crab on the lava rocks on Isabela Island

Blue-footed booby eyeing a red crab on the lava rocks of Isabela Island

Baby marine iguanas on Isabela Island

Baby marine iguanas on Isabela Island

The black caldera of the Cerro Negro Volcano on Isabela Island

The black caldera of the Cerro Negro (Sierra Negro) Volcano on Isabela Island

Ah-ah lava fields on Tintoreras islet near Isabela Island, Galapagos

Ah-ah lava fields on Tintoreras islet near Isabela Island

Penguins on Tintorenas, Isabela Island. Galapagos

Penguins on Tintorenas, Isabela Island

Exploring the Lava Tunnels on Isabela Island. Galapagos

Exploring the Lava Tunnels on Isabela Island

Giant tortoise roaming free at the El Chato Ranch on Santa Crus Island, Galapagos

Giant tortoise roaming free at the El Chato Ranch on Santa Crus Island

Salt lake on Santa Cruz island. Galapagos

Salt lake on Santa Cruz island

Tortuga Bay - the most beautiful beach in the Galapagos Islands

Tortuga Bay – the most beautiful beach in the Galapagos Islands

Sea turtle at the Gordon Rocks dive site off the coast of Santa Cruz Island. Galapagos

Sea turtle at the Gordon Rocks dive site off the coast of Santa Cruz Island

Ecuador Galapagos Santa Cruz O&M-3930

Goodbye Galapagos Islands! We’ll miss you!

If visiting Galapagos Islands hasn’t been high on your list so far, we hope these photos has planted a seed of curiosity about this incredible destination!

Are the Galapagos Islands on your travel bucket list?

Disclaimer: We traveled to the Galapagos as guests of Galakiwi, a land based tour operator based in the Galapagos. But as always, all opinions expressed in this article are our own! (Ok. They may have been slightly influenced by Fred, the sea lion, but only because he was so darn adorable!)