A solitary bird watching the pounding waves in Galápagos

Galápagos National Park

A solitary bird watching the pounding waves in Galápagos

The tagline for the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” goes: “You only live once, so why not die in style?”  When readers of the newspaper USA Today were recently asked what travel destinations they would put on their bucket lists of places to see in their lifetimes, Galápagos came in ahead of all the other choices.

According to the newspaper, “Naturalists, old and new, who head off the Pacific coast of Ecuador to visit the isolated archipelago known as Galapagos find a microcosm of evolution.”

Travelers, the newspaper said, “Experience some of the best up-close-and-personal wildlife encounters there are. Island-hopping adventurers snorkel with sea lions and turtles, watch the mating rituals of blue footed boobies, ponder the significance of Darwin’s finches and walk across desolate lava fields.”

Encounters with exotic animals seemed to be popular choices among the newspaper’s readers.  Going on safari in Africa came in third and Alaska, with its abundance of moose, elk and bears, came in second.  Is this an indication that the Galápagos tortoise is a bigger attraction than lions, tigers and bears?

Rounding out the list, the South Pacific Islands placed fourth; Italy, fifth; Greece came in sixth; Ireland, seventh; New Zealand, eighth; the pyramids of Egypt, ninth and finally in tenth place, the Swiss Alps.

You can read the entire USA Today story by following this link.

And if you’re considering planning one of those bucket list trips to the number one desination, you might want to read Cecilia Alvear’s hints about “Ten Things to Ponder Before Visiting Galápagos.