When we look back at our childhoods, we remember the big experiences; the ones that changed our perspectives or created strong family memories. Fortunately, the today’s options for family travel have grown to include a variety of trip types that suit all families. Taking kids to the Galápagos Islands may just be the ultimate family travel experience. Here’s why:
The abundant and accessible wildlife
The main reason that people want to visit the Galápagos Islands is to see the wildlife. Here, the animals include both land and aquatic species, some endemic to the islands and others that pass by during migration. Sea turtles, sea lions, whales, dolphins, iguanas, tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and penguins are just some of the animals that can be observed. Kids will be especially excited because, in many places, animals such as sea lions and iguanas are easy to see up close.
The opportunity to unplug
The Galápagos archipelago is made up of several islands, each with a different landscape and all but one with little sign of civilization. The peace of being in the middle of the ocean surrounded only by islands, water, sky, and animals is an unusual experience in today’s world, one that allows family members to bond without the distractions of electronics.
The Galápagos Islands are a chain of 16 islands and many islets, providing an outdoor classroom for kids to learn first-hand about geology. The archipelago was formed by volcanoes that rose from the ocean floor several million years ago, and all of the islands are made up of one volcano. (The largest island, Isabela, has six volcanoes.) In fact, some of the islands are still growing due to current volcanic activity. Kids always learn better through actually seeing and experiencing, so being in the presence of these volcanoes would gives kids an unforgettable lesson in the forces that shaped our planet.
Older children may have learned about evolution in science class, but visiting the place that inspired much of Charles Darwin’s theories make the subject come alive. Seeing the animals that adapted to the island environments in person allows kids to understand evolutionary theories in a way that they cannot get from a traditional classroom. Marine iguanas and Darwin’s finches are two examples of animals that live on the islands now but evolved over time to adapt to their environment on the Galápagos Islands.
Kids together on small group tours
Because most travel to the Galápagos Islands occurs on group tours by boat, kids will have the added benefits of participating in a group experience. Besides taking direction from an experienced guide, they will have the opportunity to make new friends with other kids who also enjoy adventure. The unique opportunities and explorations they’ll share in this unusual destination may even lead to lasting friendships.
Exposing children to the adventures that await raises curious children who will want to give back to their planet. The Galápagos Islands’ uniqueness and opportunities for education make a perfect destination for adventurous families.
G Adventures runs a number of Family style departures to the Galápagos Islands encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater for different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this part of the world as you’ve never seen it — check out our small group trips for families here.