Sea Lion

NHA Galapagos Destination Manager Jennifer Bravo and friend, at Gardner Bay. Photo copyright: Jennifer Bravo.

Yeah, I know. You think this is Photoshopped. It’s not. Wildlife in the Galapagos really is nonchalant about human presence, like this sea lion at Gardner Bay on Espanola. And you really can get this close, like Jennifer Bravo did during her recent visit to the islands.

Jennifer is Nat Hab’s Galapagos Destination Manager. Moments like these are what keep her coming back. And back, and back. The draw must be strong, because she has managed NHA’s Galapagos trips for more than 13 years and has never gotten bored. And while you can’t tell from this picture, the beach at Gardner Bay is usually packed with sea lions, lolling, snoozing and barking. In fact, I counted more than 200 in the colony when I was there myself, so many that we practically had to step around them to walk down the beach.

It’s even more fun to snorkel with them. Young Galapagos sea lions are often as curious about us as we are about them, and there’s no more memorable wildlife encounter than coming mask to whiskers with a frisky youngster! While you’re at it, you’re likely to glide past green sea turtles and spy fishing penguins zipping beneath the surface, too. And that’s just for starters, when it comes to the wondrous wildlife of the Galapagos.

Scroll down, for a few more amazing photos from the Enchanted Isles [all photos copyright Wendy Worrall Redal]:


Galapagos giant tortoise, munching on grass.


My family, meeting a wild tortoise on Santa Cruz Island


A Sally Lightfoot crab. They really are this orange (no color touch-ups here!)


My daughter, Bryn, enjoying a dip in Gardner Bay. The water really is this turquoise!


Here’s lookin’ atcha, kid!

Isn’t it time you saw such wonders for yourself? We have so many ways to experience the Galapagos: luxury private yacht cruises through the islands, small-group kayaking and hiking expeditions, intimate land-based hotel tours, and special family departures that feature Expedition Leaders totally tuned in to kids.When you get to the Galapagos, you won’t believe your eyes. But, like Jennifer’s picture attests, it’s for real!

Ever in awe of nature,