Written by: Linda Bendt
Most would agree…this world is fragile. Cultures are challenged. Landscape is altered. Species are jeopardized. As a student of life, my constant goal is to understand, appreciate and share these aspects of our precious world with others – particularly my children.
A recent trip to the Galapagos Islands with them opened my eyes (and their eyes) to how amazing and unique travel experiences can (and should!) be. And, it exposed us all to people, species and landscape that truly exist nowhere else in the world.
First, where exactly are the Galapagos Islands? This archipelago of 100+ islands and islets straddle the equator about 600 miles west of Ecuador, South America. We flew from Minneapolis to Miami and then onto Quito, Ecuador. The following morning with a short stopover in Guayaquil, we flew out to Baltra Island in the Galapagos. Because we were on a 7-day Silversea cruise, we then transferred to the pier where zodiacs shuttled us to the Silver Galapagos.
From there, we were in the hands of Silversea, their crew, naturalists and hospitality staff. Great hands to be in! Each day held a variety of experiences and sites, but one thing was constant – I felt surrounded by uniqueness.
We enjoyed the daily routines of hiking, snorkeling and eating well. Snorkeling was a favorite for our family. The kids (11 and 8) are already seasoned snorkelers and very comfortable in the water, which makes it enjoyable for all of us. We found ourselves following white-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, huge schools of colorful fish and even a sea lion one day!
Ever since we returned, the Galapagos have held a special place in my heart. I encourage clients to visit this unique place as soon as possible if they are able. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience with a deadline - the Galapagos are listed on the sites that may disappear in our lifetime.