The fascinating volcanic islands of the Galapagos were made famous by Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. Several unique species reside there and the islands are a popular destination for both biology enthusiasts and tourists.

The essential Galapagos bucket list 2016

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Tortoises

The magnificent giant tortoise is one of the most famous symbols of these beautiful islands. Known to live for over 150 years, these truly awesome creatures can reach weights of almost 900lb!

Birdwatching

From frigate birds to cormorants and albatrosses, the Galapagos Islands are rich in bird life. With so many different types of bird species to spot, keen birdwatchers will be in heaven.

Charles Darwin Research Station

Darwin’s work continues to this day, especially in terms of preservation and conservation, and here you can learn more about it. The centre is based on Santa Cruz island. Find out more about Galapagos holidays from travel agents such as http://www.steppestravel.co.uk/galapagos-islands.

Scuba diving

Marine life in the Galapagos is abundant. Largely untouched, the islands boast clear waters that provide excellent viewing for experienced divers.

Lava tubes

Formed from lava, these awesome structures can be found on Santa Cruz island. Visitors can choose to take a guided tour or spend time exploring these eerie yet beautiful channels under their own steam.

Chinese Hat

This tiny island is located close to Santiago. Visitors can snorkel and swim in addition to exploring the impressive volcanic formations. This is also a great place to view sea lions, iguanas and penguins.

Tortuga Bay

A particularly popular destination, Tortuga Bay combines abundant wildlife with beautiful beaches. Swim in the crystal clear waters or simply spend time relaxing on the soft, sandy beach.

The Wall of Tears

From flamingos to turtles, visitors can enjoy seeing a variety of wildlife while taking a guided tour of this landmark in Puerto Villamil.

Las Loberias

Tourists can spend a glorious day watching sea lions and their pups on the beach. This is a perfect spot to sit back and enjoy the view. Remember to keep a safe distance from the sea lions, particularly the larger males.

Los Gemelos

Comprising twin sink holes located on Santa Cruz, this attraction is found amid a lush, wooded area. Although a challenging find, once there most visitors will agree the effort was well worth it for the glorious view and fascinating wildlife.