A bucket list destination, the Galapagos inspired Charles Darwin to develop his theory of natural selection. This group of islands that are primarily a desert environment each containing its own species of land tortoise, which are highly endangered and the largest tortoise in the world. The Galapagos is also home to a variety of iguanas including the famous marine iguana and the northern most penguin species. A wide variety of birds including three species of Boobies: the blue, black and red footed, the Frigate bird, all of which are fearless. These birds’ nest are close to the ground because there are very few trees. We were on the islands for 2-weeks and then headed to mainland Ecuador.

Frank Todd and I visited north western Ecuador, where we saw plate-billed mountain toucans, crimson rumped toucanets, pale mandibled aracaris, toucan barbets, wattled umbrella birds and a variety of tanager and hummingbird species.

The mountains are very cool so be sure to bring your sweater or jacket.