Are There Flamingos on the Galapagos Islands?

Are There Flamingos on the Galapagos Islands
Photo by SmileFight/

The Galapagos Islands present some of the most fantastic nature anywhere on the planet, and they’re also home to some of the most beautiful flamingos in the world.

Located in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles west of mainland South America, the Galapagos Islands consist of 19 islands and many more islets across a 17,000 square mile area. The islands are part of Ecuador and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, protecting the incredible wildlife that calls the Galapagos Islands home.

American flamingo Galapagos islands
American flamingo in the Galapagos Islands - Photo by Kanokratnok/

The flamingos that live on the Galapagos Islands fit in perfectly with the vibrance of the islands. There are six species of flamingos in the world, and the American flamingo (also known as the Caribbean flamingo) is the one that populates these Ecuadorian islands.

The American flamingos of the Galapagos Islands are even more brightly colored than many other flamingos around the globe. The Galapagos Islands are loaded with tasty crustaceans, molluscs, insects, algae, and more than flamingos love to dine on, and they’re chock full of the carotenoid pigment that turns flamingo feathers pink. Flamingos that call the Galapagos Islands home are some of the most beautifully colored in the world for that very reason.

Galapagos Islands History

Wildlife on the Galapagos Islands is world-renowned. Because of its location, there are many animal species on the islands that are endemic, meaning that they can only be found there and nowhere else on earth. This is what made the islands perfect for Charles Darwin and his studies on evolution.

flamingo Galapagos islands
Sea turtle swimming in the Galapagos Islands - Photo by LaverneNash/

Darwin joined Captain Robert Fitzroy on a five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle, sailing off from England in 1831. The ship eventually reached the Galapagos Islands in 1835, and Darwin noticed that while there were some amazing animals to behold, there were differences between the ones on the various islands. This got him thinking: how could creatures cut from basically the same cloth turn out with different outcomes that fit perfectly with the environment they found themselves in?

Years later in 1859, Darwin published “On The Origin of Species,” with plenty of the impetus and knowledge behind the book coming from his days at the Galapagos Islands.

Seeing Flamingos at the Galapagos Islands

You can travel to the Galapagos Islands and see some of the most unbelievable wildlife available, including the outstanding flamingos that inhabit the islands. It’s possible to spot a flamingo in any number of places among the islands, but the beautiful birds are most prominent on Isabela Island, Santa Cruz, Florena Island, and Santiago Island. Flamingos call the Galapagos Islands home all year, so you can go any time and have a decent chance of finding one. If you want to catch a glimpse of flamingo chicks, it’s best to take a trip to the islands in the spring or summer.

Only three of the area’s islands are inhabited by humans, and you can’t fly to the Galapagos Islands. If you choose to visit the area, you’ll have to stay at one of the offered hotels and shuttle around the islands via boat, or remain on a live-abroad boat that takes you around to the various islands. Traveling around the islands can be time consuming, and with the cost and specialty of the trip you’re taking, every minute counts. If you’re serious about seeing flamingos and the other amazing wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, read these tips before taking your next steps.

The species on the Galapagos Islands have had millions of years to live, evolve, and adapt with little outside interference. To experience the true uninhibited wonder of Mother Nature is indescribable. There is nature all around us, but there is nowhere else quite like the Galapagos Islands.

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