Floreana is a small isolated island in the Galapagos. It has a very interesting history and is one of the most memorable places we’ve ever visited.
The Galapagos islands are famous for their unique animals. We explored three islands and had unforgettable animal encounters on each of them, but none as breathtaking as on Floreana! Perhaps that was due to the isolated nature of the island.
Our Galapagos Family Adventure: Floreana Island
(see the full post below the video)
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5 Reasons to Visit Floreana Island Galapagos
1. Sea Lions
You’ve seen those videos of someone swimming with a sea lion, right? Have you ever wished you could experience something like that? I did, but I thought it looked too good to be true, at least for me. I was wrong!
On Floreana, we swam with a very playful sea lion. He had us all captivated! He was swimming circles around us – literally. He kept coming back for more, spinning, twirling, dipping and diving all around us. Bryan had a GoPro camera attached to an extender pole which made the little guy very curious. He seemed to be performing for the camera. Here are some GoPro accessories to consider before traveling.
If you ever visit the Galapagos, don’t go without a GoPro or some other high quality underwater camera. Memories alone don’t do that experience justice!
More reading: Travelers Guide to Galapagos Islands Animals
The sea lion was also very curious of children. Some local children were playing games in the water, the sea lion seemed to be taking delight swimming around them and making them squeal. He was also very curious of our daughter, I think their playful nature was magnetic.
2. Giant Tortoises
In the highlands of Floreana we got up close with giant tortoises.
We were able to get close to these giant animals on Santa Cruz and Isabela as well, but I liked the enclosure on Floreana the most.
Picture, a sunbathed forest floor, tall trees and large rocks. Now picture giant tortoises hiding among them. Beautiful!
You just have to see these animals in person to appreciate them. Being crouched down next to one as he slowly lifts his head and looks you in the eye – breathtaking!
3. Marine Iguanas
Right next to the main boat dock on Floreana we saw lots of large marine iguanas sunbathing, feeding, fighting and sneezing.
More reading: Buyers Guide to the Best Sun Protection Hats
There are a lot of large rocks on one side of the doc where the marine iguanas like to hang out. It seems that the rocks make them feel secure, so we could nice and close to them. That made for some great photos and even better GoPro footage.
Our best marine iguana encounters were on Floreana.
The feeling of being on such an isolated island was kind of surreal.
It felt like we had all that amazing nature to ourselves, even tho we didn’t really. When we were there the island had around 125 inhabitants, but there was definitely a feeling of isolation and getting back to basics.
We had read up on the history of the island so we were dreaming what it would be like to land on an island and start from scratch, just the three of us.
Reading Floreana by Margret Wittmer will help you get an idea of what was going through our minds.
It was a unique feeling; something I had never felt before.
5. Sea Turtles
Swimming with sea turtles was my favorite experience on our Galapagos adventures.
There was just something so wonderful about seeing the sea turtles feeding, being swayed back and forth by the pull of the waves! The sea turtle we spent the most time with didn’t seem to notice we were there, which actually added to the experience. Bryan and I were looking at each other and looking at him, kind of lost in how special the moment was!
Swimming with the sea lion was thrilling but I couldn’t help feeling a little nervous. Wild animals can be unpredictable, and my daughter was right next to me… fearless, I had to pull her back from getting too close.
It was a different kind of breathtaking with the sea turtle. A kind of quiet amazement, peaceful, dreamy feeling!
Have you traveled to Floreana Island? What did you like the most? Please share with us by commenting on this post.