How do you get to the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are about 3000 miles away from where I live in Colorado. I had to take three planes to get there. Then, I got on my ship and sailed around the islands. On the map below, the blue line is a straight line from Colorado to the Galapagos Islands. The red line is the way I flew on three planes. Does the blue line look shorter than the red line? It is! This is called a direct path or "as the crow flies." That is because it is how a bird would fly straight to get there. It is 1400 miles shorter than how I went. But, it is too far for one plane.

First, I flew from Denver to Miami, Florida. It took four hours at night after school on Thursday. I landed on Friday morning. Then, I met up with Mrs. G. She is the other teacher on my expedition. We flew for four more hours from Miami to Ecuador. Ecuador is a country on the continent of South America. This was Mrs. G's first time in South America! Ecuador means "equator" in Spanish. Look at the map. Can you guess why?

 Ready for a late night flight at the Denver airport.  Photo by Ben Travis.

Ready for a late night flight at the Denver airport. Photo by Ben Travis.

 The airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  Photo by Alison Travis.

The airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Photo by Alison Travis.

We spent Friday night in a hotel in Ecuador, then flew to the Galapagos on Saturday morning. This flight was the shortest. It took less than two hours. When I looked out the window, I saw... nothing! This was a surprise, because I am used to seeing roads and buildings. Before we landed, they showed a video about the rules of the Galapagos Islands. You can't get close to the animals, feed them, or touch them. You can't take any plants, rocks, or shells home. The video was funny and used puppets. It was in Spanish with English words to read.

 The view of Galapagos from the airplane.  Photo by Alison Travis

The view of Galapagos from the airplane. Photo by Alison Travis

 The puppet safety video of Galapagos Rules.  Photo by Alison Travis

The puppet safety video of Galapagos Rules. Photo by Alison Travis

There are two small airports in the Galapagos Islands. Every time you go to another country, you have to show your passport. It is a small book that has your picture, name, birthday, a special number, and more information. In the Galapagos Islands, they also give you a special card. We took a bus from the airport to a small boat called a Zodiac. These boats took us to the big ship. The water is not deep enough for the ship to come up right next to the land.

 Our first zodiac ride, near a sea lion!  Photo by Alison Travis

Our first zodiac ride, near a sea lion! Photo by Alison Travis

 I needed a passport and special card to get into the Galapagos Islands.  Photo by Alison Travis

I needed a passport and special card to get into the Galapagos Islands. Photo by Alison Travis

The first thing we did on the ship was learn how to be safe. We did a drill, like a fire drill at school. This is in case something happens or we have to leave the ship. We had to bring our life vests with us. We met in a room first, then walked to the life boats. The captain told us about the ship. Last, we found our rooms and put our bags away. It took a long time to get here. I was excited to finally start my expedition!

 The captain told us how to be safe on the ship.  Photo by Alison Travis

The captain told us how to be safe on the ship. Photo by Alison Travis

 I’m missing my school but ready to begin my expedition!  Photo by Stacy Gasteiger

I’m missing my school but ready to begin my expedition! Photo by Stacy Gasteiger