This post is part 18 of 20 in the series Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

Eric took many thousands of photos during the nearly six weeks we’ve spent in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978. Here’s a selection of our favorite pictures of the world-famous wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Islands wildlife

galapagos sea lion pup

Eric took hundreds of pictures of sea lions in the Galapagos but the sleepy eyes and adorable pose of this baby sea lion napping in the sun really got us.

booby colors galapagos islands wildlife

There are three kinds of boobies in the Galapagos. This one is a red-footed booby and the feet truly are spectacular, however, the color on its face is portrait worthy too.

marine iguana genovesa

Marine iguanas only exist in the Galapagos and their dinosaur-like selves are a common sight on some islands. We love the regal pose of this one, master of all it surveys.

galapagos penguin isabela

Galapagos penguins, the smallest penguin species, are adorable no matter what. They’re irresistible when they shake like dogs.

Galapagos tortoise

This Galapagos tortoise took a quick break from mowing the lawn to give Eric his best wise-old-man face.

cow ray galapagos

We were mesmerized by this group of cow nose rays as they passed under a pier.

marine iguana portrait

Dinosaurs (in the form of marine iguanas) are alive and well in the Galapagos.

blue-footed booby South Plaza island

Blue-footed boobies usually live up to their name (which comes from a Spanish word for dumb), but Eric caught this one in a contemplative moment as it looked out to sea.

frigate bird flying

The omnipresent frigate bird is most often photographed for its iridescent feathers and red throat sack, but their unique silhouette is worth a shot too.

sleeping sea lion Galapagos Islands wildlife

Eric’s camera did not disturb this napping sea lion who stayed submerged in a warm, shallow pool as it slept, occasionally exhaling bubbles.

galapagos flamingo

A few special spots in the Galapagos archipelago are visited by Galapagos flamingos like this one.

baby marine iguana Galapagos Islands wildlife

Look left for a rare glimpse of juvenile marine iguanas.

Nazca booby Galapagos Islands wildlife

The third type of booby in the Galapagos is called a Nazca booby though we think this one, caught having a stare-down with Eric’s lens, embodies the species’ former name: masked booby.

sea lion rabida Galapagos Islands wildlife

Sea lions are one of the most widely distributed of the animals in the Galapagos Islands and are particularly lovely on the islands with red sand, like this female coyly sunning herself.

flightless cormorant Galapagos Islands wildlife

They may no longer be able to fly, but flightless cormorants are perfectly capable of performing their own version of ballet on land and their stunted wings propel them perfectly underwater.

land iguana Galapagos Islands wildlife

We admit that we smiled back at this land iguana.

Red-footed boobies nesting Galapagos Islands wildlife

Red-footed boobies setting up house for another season of chicks.

galapagos marine iguana party

Marine iguanas pile up in the sun to warm their reptile bodies, mimicking the darkness, stillness, and geometry of the lava rock they live on.

lava heron isabela island

Even birds that are seen in other parts of the world, like herons, take on a new intensity and regalness in the Galapagos.

young Galapagos Tortoise

Even if this young Galapagos tortoise could run away it wouldn’t bother. Animals in the Galapagos don’t see humans as predators so they’re less stressed by our presence, as this shot shows.

iguana South Plaza Galapagos Islands wildlife

A burst of new growth mirrors the emerging colors of this land iguana on Santa Fe Island.

mobula ray galapagos

And THIS is how a mobula ray flies.

waved albatross Galapagos Islands wildlife

Tens of thousands of waved albatross congregate in the Galapagos every year in a spot that is the only nesting area for this species on earth.

marine iguana vertical Galapagos Islands wildlife

A marine iguana soaks the warmth out of the volcanic rock.

Galapagos travel tips

Here’s more about travel in Ecuador

Here’s more about Island Travel

Here’s more about Galapagos Travel

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