meet the animals of the galapagos

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Who loves wildlife-spotting while travelling?

We DO! So you can imagine what an incredible time we had when we were in the Galapagos.

We cannot believe that it has been 4 years since we visited there. We so fondly remember our time exploring three of the islands!

Without further a do… introducing the different wildlife we were able to meet.

Sea Lion


Friendly, curious and relaxed, you can spot these gorgeous fellows everywhere. They really know how to sunbathe. We were lucky to see so many pups. We loved how uninhibited and playful they were.

Marine Iguana


These guys are very unique and probably the ones we found most fascinating to learn about. They are typical reptiles, basking in the early morning sun. Then later in the day, they will dive for seaweed growing on the sea floor. They are the only true marine lizards and live only in the Galapagos. They are everywhere, so if you go, watch out where you put your foot, as they camouflage with the volcanic rock sometimes.

How many can you see in this picture?


Land Iguana

Land Iguana

Lava Lizard

Lava Lizard

Different types of Giant Tortoises

Tortoise1 Tortoise2 Tortoise3 Tortoise4

There once were 14 recognisable species of giant tortoises on the Galapagos Islands.  Over the years, they have been killed for many things by humans, including for food. The species count is officially down to 10 because when we were there, there were still 11.

With Lonesome George (pictured below) being the last of his kind, we felt very humbled to have met him before he passed away the year after we met him. It was estimated that he was over a hundred years old.


Trivia: As a tortoise gets older, the lines on his shell become fewer. Works opposite to a tree trunk. 

Now to the folks found predominantly in the water….

Green Sea Turtle 

Sea Turtle

Not easy to see it in the photo, but it’s coming up for air.

White-tipped Shark




We had to crop and zoom this photo a little so the octopus could be seen…. can you see it?

Manta ray

Manta Ray

Spotted rayfish

Spotted rayfish

We found the manta ray and spotted rayfish in a lagoon and not in the open waters. We were sitting on a jetty one lazy afternoon and looked down and what do we see swim past but these two.

The Birds

There are so many different species of birds in the Galapagos. These were the ones we were fortunate to see and snap a photo of.

Lava Heron

Lava Heron

One of many Darwin finches


Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

One of many warblers


Great Frigatebird


They are huge just sitting there. Watching them in the air is simply unreal. There look enormous when you see their wingspan in flight.


Galapagos Pintail


Lava Gull

Lava Gull

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Greater Flamingo


Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Galapagos Penguin


Brown Pelican


Blue-Footed Boobie


BlueFooted Boobies

Interesting name… but there are plenty of boobies to see in the Galapagos. These blue-footed ones are easy to spot thanks to their bright blue feet. When they are in their mating prime, their feet are the bright blue.. it fades when it’s not time.

Just for a bit of fun, can you spot the four different species of bird in this photo?


Disclaimer: We apologise if we have named any of the animals incorrectly, this is us digging into our memory bank 🙂 If you spot any errors, please let us know.

Up until NOW, we hadn’t really appreciated the extent of all the wildlife we encountered on this trip.

Where would you recommend we go to do some more wildlife spotting?

Leave us a comment.


52 thoughts on “meet the animals of the galapagos

    Jaspa said:
    May 5, 2015 at 2:18 am

    I recently took a boatrip out to the Ballestas Islands while in Peru… It was fantastic! And although it’s possibly a long way to go for two hour wildlife boat ride, there are one or two other things to see and do in Peru!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 5, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Ooh that sounds awesome! Peru…. how we would love to go back and visit 🙂

    Natalie Tamara said:
    May 1, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Wow, what an array of spectacular animals! I would love to visit there one day – I have been watching the David Attenborough 3D series ‘Galapagos’ recently and it has made me want to visit more than ever.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 3, 2015 at 2:44 am

      Natalie – we hope you get there real soon! Sounds like David Attenborough has done some convincing as have we 😉

    worldjourneysdiscover said:
    April 30, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    utterly amazing., ONE DAY!

    Shikha (whywasteannualleave) said:
    April 28, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Absolutely incredible!! It must have been such a once in a lifetime experience – I would love to see Galapagos one day. Those iguanas really do camouflage well don’t they?! I could barely see any in that 3rd photo, really had to squint to find them!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      May 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      So sorry Shikha – have no idea how we missed this comment!! The Galapagos is definitely once in a lifetime … so make sure you do it 🙂 Hope you are well!! Warming up for you over there, while it gets colder and colder for us here…

    thebritishberliner said:
    April 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Absolutely fantastic you lucky things. ‘Doesn’t matter in the least if you mix up the descriptions, as the animals and pictures speak for themselves. Lovely!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 27, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you!! Glad you liked the post… It was rather exciting for us to share 😃

    darwinontherocks said:
    April 26, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Lovely, I remembered seeing all of these. Maybe you miss the hammerhead sharks ? 😉

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 26, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Thanks 🙂

      No we didn’t see any hammerhead sharks. Did you??

        darwinontherocks said:
        April 26, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        yes, it’s their favourite destination 😉 So much food for them over there. Did you dive or snorkel at kicker rocks ? It’s quite easy to see them over there. It depends which time of the year you’ve been there I suppose 🙂

    Maria's Adventure said:
    April 25, 2015 at 3:22 am

    Ooh I love this post! So many amazing animals – I wanna go! 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 28, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Thanks 🙂 So glad to hear that yo unloved this post! We hope you get to go one day!

        Anonymous said:
        April 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

        I think they loved rather than unloved it

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          April 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm

          LOL – Thanks for the pick up…. It was meant to say “you loved”…. somehow autocorrect inserted that “un”…

    Kat said:
    April 24, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Great photos, love it! I spot 4 iguanas??

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 28, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      There is 5 in there… one is a little sneaky!! At least we have counted only 5… there could be more!

    the eternal traveller said:
    April 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I’m not too keen on the look of those iguanas. They look quite fierce. I wouldn’t be going too close. Did you zoom in on them with your camera?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      Hehehe – those marine iguanas were harmless… whenever we got a little close, they would tend to scurry off. The big “fierce” looking one was taken probably 2 metres away. There were parts where we were about 30 cms from them as they were on the path, and there was no way to avoid them.

        the eternal traveller said:
        April 24, 2015 at 6:40 am

        Oh man, you’re giving me the creeps! I’m not fussed on getting up close and personal with wildlife.

    Ruchi said:
    April 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you for introducing to so many species of wildlife. They all look wonderful.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      We knew we had seen a LOT but only yesterday did it truly occur to us…. how many different species we were able to see in just 7 days.

    Gypsy Bev said:
    April 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    What a great assortment of wild-life. Have to admit the giant tortoises were my favorites.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      The tortoises are very cute! Actually all the animals are…. Definitely diversity there 🙂

      We found it so fascinating the subtle and sometimes stark difference between the species… yet we just commonly know them as tortoises.

    Curt Mekemson said:
    April 23, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Ngorongoro Crater in East Africa. 🙂 I found the picture of the Marine Iguanas hiding among the lava rocks fascinating. Great post. Thanks. –Curt

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Thanks Curt. So?? How many could you spot?? We don’t even know the answers ourselves because some are solo well camouflaged!

      Africa…. it’s not IF but WHEN we get there… Ngorongoro Crater is without doubt somewhere we will be visiting!

        Curt Mekemson said:
        April 24, 2015 at 2:53 am

        Five definitely, pretty sure on a sixth. My imagination was willing to allow for more. 🙂 How about you? –Curt

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          April 28, 2015 at 8:57 pm

          Hahahah – Curt! We counted 5 easily and 6 if we squint our eyes 😉

    backpackerlee said:
    April 23, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Awesome wildlife. I really need to get to Galapagos! It’s unbelievable how much unique wildlife calls those islands their home.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Don’t wait…! 😉 It is such an unforgettable experience.

    Saksham Mehrotra said:
    April 23, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Incredible photos!! Ah! The Galapagos…! It’s such an amazing place, I’m yearning to go there someday! 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Has this post nudged you to go sooner? We hope so 😉
      Thanks so much for your comment!

    Ayla said:
    April 22, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Oh and you should head to Africa for a safari. A-maz-ing!! Namibia and the Serengeti were my favourites but anywhere Sub-Sarahan Africa is just incredible!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Oooooh….. Africa is so HIGH up our list! One of these days … *sigh*

    Ayla said:
    April 22, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    The Galapagos Islands are somewhere that I desparately want to go and they are right at the top of my bucket list. I love animals so it would just be amazing to see so much wildlife in their natural habitats. Brilliant photos guys! 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment Ayla. Actually, I (Le) was thinking of you as we put this post together. Knowing your work with the zoo, your love of Africa and your little hedgehog 🙂

      YAY! Top of the bucket list means it needs to be NEXT to be ticked off, right??!! So now it’s a question of when?? Wishing you both an incredible weekend.

        Ayla said:
        April 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm

        Yes! Anything to do with wildlife and I’m an instant fan! I desparately wanted to visit the Galapagos when we were in South America last year but what with the Inca Trail and the World Cup the trip was already so expensive! It’s a dream for (hopefully) the not too distant future 🙂

    LuAnn said:
    April 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Galapagos is on our list so I am green with envy. Beautiful photos!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      LuAnn, maybe these photos have enticed you to move the Galapagos higher up the list?? It really was so magical to witness!

        LuAnn said:
        April 24, 2015 at 12:16 am

        It is pretty high on our list right now. 🙂

    Kelly | The Wandering Blonde said:
    April 22, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    These are great pictures! I’d love to go to the Galapagos one day. It looks amazing!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      Oh Kelly, we hope we have inspired you to try and make that trip there sooner now! It is just in a league of its own 🙂

    Anonymous said:
    April 22, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Fabulous photos.

    irenedesign2011 said:
    April 22, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Wow really amazing experiences, as you got here, so very beautiful 😀

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you 🙂 We were so very lucky to have visited the Galapagos – it truly is a one-of-a-kind! Have a lovely weekend ahead.

    neihtn2012 said:
    April 22, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Quite an assortment of wild animal photos! They are all beautiful!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 23, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you so much!! We certainly bewildered ourselves yesterday when we realised how large our collection of photos were 🙂

    JunkChuck said:
    April 22, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I’m jealous–Galapagos is a dream, and your photos are fantastic.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      April 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We hope you do get to the Galapagos one day, it truly is special 🙂

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