When people travel to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador they assume they’re going to get great photos of wildlife–we took thousands of pictures of animals (which we kindly edited down to this 21 shot selection our best shots of wildlife in the Galapagos Islands). But even when there are no critters in sight, the epic sunsets and sunrises and the only-in-the-Galapagos landscapes will keep your camera busy.

Our favorite sunsets and landscapes of the Galapagos Islands

Wolf Island, Galapagos Islands

Wolf Island, at the most northerly end of the Galapagos archipelago, is rarely visited except by dive boats.

Pinnacle Rock Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands

Pinnacle Rock juts up from mostly barren Bartolome Island.

Bartolome & Santiago Island, Galapagos Islands

See a larger version of this panoramic shot of Bartolome Island

Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Island

Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island is home to a large population of land iguanas.

South Plaza Island, Galapagos Islands

Spring time color in foliage just off the beach on South Plaza Island is in deep contrast with the starkly blue water.

Darwin's Lake, Tagus Cove, Isabella, Galapagos Island

Darwin’s Lake, in this dormant crater on Isabella Island above Tagus Cove, provides life-giving water and breath-taking views.

Galapagos sunset

We spent 24 nights in the Galapagos Islands and pretty much every single one of them ended like this.

Darwin Arch & Darwin Island, Galapagos Islands

At the far northern end of the Galapagos archipelago lies Darwin Island and Darwin Arch and some of the best scuba diving in the world.

Port Egas Santiago Island, Galapagos Islands

Port Egas on Santiago Island offers a sandy arch of beach and dramatic volcanic rock formations and is favored by sunning sea lions.

Ecuador Volcano Punta Vicente Roca, Galapagos Island

The Punta Vicente Roca Volcano on Isabela Island is one of our favorite destinations in the Galapagos, providing dramatic topside scenery and some of the best snorkeling we’ve ever done in the bay at its base.

Galapagos light

Good morning, Galapagos.

Galapagos beach

A beach is never just a beach in the Galapagos Islands. This one offers creamy sand, jagged lava and lapping waves.

Punta Vicente Roca, Galapagos Islands

A wave of lava, from the volcanic eruption which formed Isabela Island, sweeps down to the sea near Punta Vicente Roca.


Rábida Island’s red sand beach and scrub cover are begin rid of invasive goats so that natural vegetation and endemic species can return.

Los Gemalos, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

There are lush parts of the Galapagos Islands as well, including the Los Gemalos twin craters in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island.

Galapagos islands color

Galapagos color, all natural and unfiltered.

Galapagos sunset

Good night, Galapagos.

Going to the Galapagos

We’ve traveled to the Galapagos Islands three times while working on a wide range of travel story assignments. We’ve now spent more time in the Galapagos than Charles Darwin did. That doesn’t mean we’ve come up with a revolutionary scientific theory, but it does mean that we know our way around the place. For more insights and inspiration about going to the Galapagos, check out the stories we’ve reported and written about traveling to the Galapagos Islands.

How to Travel to the Galapagos Islands published by Travel + Leisure

Galapagos Islands Dive Boat Luxury published by Luxe Beat

Going Greener in the Galapagos published by The Toronto Sun

This is the Most Luxurious New Way to Tour the Galapagos Islands published by Bravo Jet Set

Cruising the Galapagos with Grace Kelly published by Bio.com

Pikaia Lodge luxury hotel review published by Luxury Latin America

How to Cruise Through the Galapagos published by Travel + Leisure

28 Important Facts about Galapagos National Park published by Travel + Leisure

12 Animals You May See in the Galapagos Islands published by Travel + Leisure


And don’t miss our wildlife of the Galapagos photo essay.

Here’s more about travel in Ecuador