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Up Close Encounters

Absence of Predators make Galapagos Wildlife Uniquely Approachable

The wildlife encounters you can enjoy in the Galapagos are closer, more intimate, than almost anywhere else on Earth. Elsewhere, wild animals warily keep their distance, and you can only approach habituated groups. Here, it’s completely different: neither animals or birds have had to develop a fight or flight mechanism to survive. You can walk right up to them to get a closer look, and they in turn might well do the same to you. These up close encounters are unforgettable.

One of the wildlife encounters Journeysmiths’ guests often want most is with the Galapagos tortoise. The tortoise is endemic, and 15 different subspecies roam the islands. Between June and September, you can see the tortoise nesting and laying their eggs in the highlands near Santa Rosa, and at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz you can both meet the tortoise and learn about how scientists are reversing their downward spiral in numbers.
 
For birdlife encounters, numbers are not huge - 57 resident species, of which 25 are endemic -- but the proximity is second to none. The Galapagos hawk, mockingbird, and albatross are all unusually approachable, so you’ll capture superb photos.