In the Galapagos Islands one will find serenity and breathtaking beauty rather than the resort laden shore lines, heavy traffic, and overwhelming crowds that plague most of the pacific's top locations. No matter if one enjoys snorkeling, bird watching, nature photography, hiking, kayaking, fishing, boating, scuba diving, or openly mingling with majestic wildlife, these islands have something to offer any outdoor enthusiast. In fact, the Galapagos has such an impressive naturalistic landscape that these islands are considered one of the hottest filming destinations for nature documentary makers.
The diverse ecosystems that this climate supports is able to host a variety of species, including some specifically native to the island group itself. However, this region doesn't just host a dazzling array of wildlife; it takes great effort to protect it by dedicating much of its soil to nature conservation. About 97% of the lands that make up this island cluster are property of the Galapagos National Park, making it one of the world's largest nature preservation areas. Thousands of visitors each year come to explore the landscape as they mingle with exotic creatures, such as the famous Galapagos tortoise, two species of iguanas, the lava lizard, and numerous types of land birds; but what most commonly attracts people to the Galapagos is the amazing marine environment.
Located in an area of the sea where three major oceanic currents meet, the waters surrounding these beautiful islands house an undersea world all its own. With some of the most spectacular coral reefs, the Galapagos islands is a great place to experience an aspect of natural life that many people rarely get the opportunity to learn about first hand. In fact, the marine life there is so spectacular, many consider it one of the best places for sea life exploration.
Literally thousands of intermediate and expert scuba divers make the journey to swim among the dolphins, sharks, eels, sting rays, and a host of other majestic marine life. However, one doesn't have to be experienced at diving to come face-to-face with the underwater world of the Galapagos. Snorkeling is an activity that everyone can enjoy. Although popular cruises and tours in the area offer access to snorkeling expeditions, the shores of these islands are adorned with reefs that one can explore unguided.
One of the most impressive snorkeling spots is Devil's Crown. Just off the shores of the island of Santa Maria (or Floreana), this sizable marine haven is the perfect example of the earths evolving nature. A once active volcano, the eroding rocks surrounding Devils' Crown has created the perfect breeding grounds for a multitude of wondrous sea creatures. Whether one decides to venture out alone or obtains a ride from one of the many panga boats that assist visitors in exploring these shores, gliding along the counter-clockwise current while taking in the glorious ocean life views below, is sure to inspire awe in anyone who ventures out. Although the sights of the seas are a spectacular draw, exploring the crisp waters of the Galapagos has another important benefit.
Awe may be one's initial reaction to marine life wonders but one quickly discovers that exploring coral reefs also brings about physical and psychological rejuvenation. Swimming among the fish is not only a mild cardiovascular exercise that helps to energize but it also promotes inner tranquility. Full body water submersion helps to relax the body's muscles, which reduces feelings of tension and brings about more pleasant emotions.
Many people go on vacation in search of this feeling but fail in achieving psychological rejuvenation because they choose busy vacation destinations brimming with the same life tensions they tried to leave behind. However, this is not an issue for those embarking on a Galapagos escape. If one is looking for a place to truly relax and get away from it all, snorkeling the rims of these islands is definitely the way to go.
Exploring this largely undisturbed island cluster is a spectacular idea for anyone interested in nature, wildlife, volcanic geology, or simply achieving true relaxation, but the greatest part is that the Galapagos climate puts no limits on exploration. Although snorkeling and scuba diving is said to be best during the hot season (December through May), the year-a-round, pleasant climate provides an exciting escape whenever one is in need. No matter the season, the activity, or the adventurer, a once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits.