For wildlife lovers and bird-watchers, there are few better places to indulge your passion than Ecuador, and in particular the Galapagos Island archipelago, home to remarkable creatures.

For nature lovers and birdwatchers, there are few better places in the world to indulge your passion than Ecuador, and in particular the Galapagos Island archipelago, home to a bizarre collection of colourful creatures.

The Galápagos Islands have many weird and wonderful inhabitants, including multi-coloured marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs, the blue-footed boobies and frigate birds, as well as flamingos, penguins, pelicans and many more bird species. The most emblematic of all Galapagos animals though are the endangered and often reclusive giant Galápagos tortoises.

What makes the islands so special though isn't just the sheer number of animals that inhabit them and their often extraordinary aspect, but also how astonishingly tame just about all are, completely comfortable in the presence of humans and sometimes seemingly oblivious to their presence. This makes the Galapagos one of the very best places on earth in which to observe and photograph wildlife.

Back on the mainland, the Amazon is home to jaguars, tapirs, ocelots, monkeys, dolphins, macaws and toucans, whilst the lesser-known coastal Machalilla National Park is a fantastic place for birdwatching and sealife, earning it a reputation as a mini-Galapagos.

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