Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

A successful school ski trip does not just happen. Every teacher who takes on the task knows that it takes planning and commitment to make sure everyone has a good time with snow! Success lies in the shoulders of those charged with the organization and, in order to make the schedule run smoothly and also offer an interesting prospect, the devil is very clear in the details.
Experts recommend early and systematic approaches to facilitate the logistics of school ski trips, to ensure that the slippery slope of the organization is navigable with ease. Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Setting a Budget

Setting a budget is very important to create a travel plan framework, and almost all other aspects depend on it. Working backwards is a very easy way to determine the right budget: how many parents or guardians are in a position to spend time on their child’s journey? This of course will depend on the demographic and water catchment areas of the school, but has a realistic figure to work in the most accurate way of managing costs from the start. Once the budget is set, it’s also a good idea to consult a Senior Leadership Team as they may be able to share valuable past experiences and suggestions. Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Get Students Involved

Involving students in the early stages of planning is a sure way to generate enthusiasm, but keeping them in the lead until departure can be a challenge in itself. Keep up-to-date with the conditions and facilities of the resort (both above and beyond the snow), show local videos and pictures, create regular social media posts during countdown (if any school guidelines), or make a PowerPoint presentation to give a detailed description of the resort and activities. And go heavy on the fun aspect!

Keep Everyone in the Circle

As registrations start rolling, it is very important that students, colleagues, parents or guardians are kept informed. Nightlife hosting information is an excellent tactic to ensure the lines of communication are opened, as well as the right moment to show presentations and travel.

Help list

It is undeniable that planning a school ski trip is a time-consuming exercise even for the most organized teacher; Signing up for help from a dedicated tour operator is one way to make life easier. Not only can they ease the pressure by making practical use of travel, transportation and accommodation, they also have the skills and resources to manage budget and administration tasks.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in school ski trips and educational tours for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

Giant tortoises are one of the best known animals in the Galapagos Islands. And, for nature lovers who choose wildlife holidays in the Galapagos, this is one of the most sought-after encounters. Like many other animals, however, despite its iconic status as the world’s largest tortoise, it faces the challenge of survival, and is now extinct or nearly extinct on several islands in the archipelago.
Of the 14 native populations, only eleven are left – with many of them considered to be highly threatened. The GTRI (The Giant Tortoise Recovery Initiative) is a conservation project  aimed at changing the flow and restoring its population across the island. Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

GTRI work

Established in 2014, GTRI has worked closely with the Directorate of National Parks to achieve a number of objectives. The long-term goals of the initiative include:

• Restoring population to historical summits throughout the archipelago. This includes breeding programs to recover the islands where endemic subspecies have become extinct. Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

• Rejuvenate and restore the required habitat.

• Survey of current population to inform future conservation research and efforts.

• Use genetic advances to improve future conservation programs.

Why Do They Need Help?

In an environment where it has no natural predators for millions of years, the Giant Turtles become the animals most affected by human arrivals on the islands. For years, they were used as a food source by settlers and maritime tourists, who managed to find out that they were able to survive for long at sea. They transport them aboard in holding the ship, and then kill them as needed.

In addition to being a source of food, the population is devastated by the introduction of animals such as dogs, goats, cows and pigs. Dogs and pigs loot eggs and hatchlings, while cattle and goats compete with the turtle’s own food source.

Although it is illegal to catch them today, and introduce animals gradually controlled or removed, in some cases too late. But generating an extinct subspecies, such as endemic disease on the island of Floreana, becomes a reality in itself by GTRI’s deductive work.

Progress Created

Species from Floreana Island have been deemed extinct since 1850. But thanks to advances in DNA testing, scientists were able to determine their genetic traces in 2008. They then tested the hybrid population on Wolf Isabela volcano island that has different DNA, and found that it fits well the extinct Floreana species. How this cross-crossing takes place is a mystery, although the most likely explanation is through human intervention, perhaps by dismantling them among the different islands.

A group of 30 have been transferred to a research center in Santa Cruz, where scientists can analyze their DNA even further. It was found that two were classified F1, meaning that they were descended from two elderly races. Through a breeding program, GTRI now intends to refill Floreana Island with the offspring of these animals – effectively bringing the species back from the dead.

Visit the Past and Future on Holidays in the Galapagos

Thanks to GTRI, past species are now closely related to their future, and it is highly likely that populations can be restored to their natural habitat. Visitors to wildlife vacations in the Galapagos can visit the Tortoise Center in Santa Cruz to see the resurrection of Tortoise Giant Floreana in (albeit very slowly). Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

The Finest Vineyards in France: The Wine of Saint-Émilion

The Finest Vineyards in France: The Wine of Saint-Émilion

Part of experiencing of the culture and heritage of any place to is to taste it. In Bordeaux, this means sampling the area’s many rich wines from one of the oldest and largest growing regions. For connoisseurs, Bordeaux is a paradise for enjoying wine tours.
Saint-Émilion is a must-see region for any traveller in search of the finest wine, which is bound to exceed your highest expectations. On board Rosa, you’ll experience a wide range of luxurious flavours, whether it’s a rich and full-bodied red, or a light and aromatic white.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1999, Saint-Émilion was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why. The history of grape-growing in the region is like no other, as the taste proves. Saint-Émilion, the oldest and largest appellation in Bordeaux, dictates over 5,500 hectares of land to growing grapes.

On board Rosa, you’ll cruise along the Dordogne River, soaking up the sights, smells and tastes of Bordeaux. Learn all about the varieties of wines produced here, from Médoc to the left to the vast selection found on the right bank of the river.

Types of Grape

Two of the most widely grown grapes in Saint-Émilion are the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc. Differing in taste and structure, these varieties have something for every connoisseur’s palate.

Merlot is composed of a rich, full-bodied combination of flavours with hints of plum, blackberries, dark cherries and chocolate, while Cabernet Franc is lighter and floral. The latter has become increasingly popular in recent years, due to its ability to thrive in spite of changes in climate.

Saint-Émilion Soil

Wines vary greatly in this region, which is due in large part to the differences in soil from vineyard to vineyard. For the most part, Grand Cru wines that are produced in this area are grown in soils that are rich in limestone, which can be found in the hills that surround Saint-Émilion. This greatly benefits the grapes, as the soil has vital minerals, such as calcium, that are needed to help vines grow. What’s more, its consistency provides excellent drainage.

Alternatively, the soil around Canon-La-Graffeliére boasts a sandy texture, which produces widely enjoyed and lighter-bodied tipples. When you join one of the many wine tours on offer, you can discover even more about the growing conditions and flavours of the region.

Itinerary Imperatives

When travelling through France, wine tours must be on any itinerary. You’ll be able to wow friends and family back home with your extensive knowledge at dinner parties and events. While on board Rosa, you’ll experience the process of wine-making from the very first grapes harvested to the first sip of a freshly uncorked bottle. You won’t find a more authentic or delicious taste of France anywhere.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holidays. Offering holidays to France and other great destinations, itineraries include wine tours and other cultural and themed activities. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

Keeping your Winter Holiday Green

Keeping your Winter Holiday Green

We live in a time where people are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, and both cor-porations and individuals are doing more than ever to reduce their carbon footprint. This is fantastic news and very important in a bid to protect our planet and reduce the impact of global warming, but there is still a lot of work to be done. The good news is that even small changes can have a huge impact.
As a rapidly growing industry that’s set in natural surroundings, the skiing community must look for ways to keep winter holidays green without compromising on the quality of stays in catered ski chalets and shredding powder on the mountain. If you have a ski trip coming up and want to do your bit, here are a few simple ways to have an eco-friendly holiday.

 

Public Transportation

One great way to protect the environment is to opt for public transportation instead of taking your own car. The local public transport system is usually free with a lift pass, and offers a good chance to make a few new friends along the way. Using the local train network is also a good option if you want to venture outside of the resort and explore.

Recycling in Your Chalet

There has been a huge push to encourage recycling in ski resorts in recent years. Simply separate your rubbish from what can be recycled and take it down to the recycling point. This only takes a few minutes, but has a very positive impact on the environment.

Gear from Eco-Friendly Companies

There are a growing number of eco-friendly ski and snowboard companies that provide gear that does not harm the environment. This includes using eco-friendly waxes on snowboards and skis that are made from sustainable, reclaimed or recycled materials. For a great and guilt-free experience in the snow, why not consider renting or buying this equipment from a company that is doing its part to save our planet?

Chalet Hire from Reputable Companies

One of the easiest ways to go green is to book your catered ski chalet from a reputable company that has actively taken steps to combat damaging the environment. Take your time to research the company, and keep your eyes peeled for those that adhere to an AITO recognised environmental policy.

Getting There

Transport is always a concern when it comes to green holidays. Flying can produce three times more CO2 emissions per passenger than other forms of public transportation, so avoid this if possible. Good alternatives include driving (car shares are even better) and going by train (there are many stations throughout the Alps).

Offset Carbon

If you do decide to fly, you can still do your bit by offsetting your carbon (certain airlines provide this option at the time of booking). A few options include getting a shared transfer or bus from the airport/train station and using a transfer company that offsets their carbon.

Adhering to Resort Environmental Issues

If you choose a resort that has environmentally friendly practices in place, be sure to ad-here to these during your stay. The staff members know how to best protect the site, and they can make it easy for you to do your bit whilst still enjoying your stay.

Never has it been more important for people to reduce their environmental impact than today. Fortunately, this can be relatively straightforward during a stay in a catered ski chalet, and will allow us all to continue skiing without damaging the beautiful surround-ings.

All You Need to Know About the Canal de la Marne au Rhin

All You Need to Know About the Canal de la Marne au Rhin

For your next barge holiday in France, why not travel down the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and discover the wonders of Alsace-Lorraine. Its complex history has made it a beautiful crossroads of French and German culture, creating the iconic wooden-beamed houses, delicious Alsatian wines and even their very own dialect. There are a variety of landscapes to admire along the way too, including rolling vineyards, breathtaking mountains and historical cities.
Length and Route

 

The Canal de la Marne au Rhin is a 313-kilometre-long stretch of water that links Paris to Alsace and Germany. An excellent route for a barge holiday in France starts in Vitry-le-François and continues towards the historic town of Bar-le-Duc. You can then travel down towards Nancy, first passing through Toul, to finish a little beyond the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

History and Feats of Engineering

Completed in 1855, the Canal de la Marne au Rhin posed a few major issues to the engineers who designed it – mainly, how to pass through the Vosges mountains and reach the Col de Saverne. Initially the canal was made to rise gradually by passing through a seventeen-lock ladder, which would create a 44-metre level change over 4 kilometres. This technique was used until 1969, at which time it was replaced by the Saint Louis Arzviller inclined plane. With this new system, the barge enters a large caisson and is either lifted or lowered up or down the slope thanks to a counter balancing weight. On a barge holiday in France with European Waterways, you’ll be 1 of 39 barges to use it. It should take about 20 minutes to complete the full journey (including entering and exiting the caisson). It is an ingenious system that uses very little electricity and only requires two men to monitor it.

Attractions en Route

Following the Canal de la Marne au Rhin lets you explore all the Alsace-Moselle region has to offer. You won’t want to pass up on the opportunity of discovering the Lehrer Crystal Glassworks once you have passed over the Arzviller slope, or of exploring the historical city of Strasbourg and taking a tour around the renowned family-run Meteor Brewery when you reach Alsace. The Lehrer Crystal Glassworks lets you immerse yourself in the world of glassblowing as you watch experts craft and cut fine glass. Once you’ve ticked that off your list, I’d recommend visiting the Cathedral in Strasbourg, with its gorgeous Gothic-style architecture, its beautifully detailed stained-glass windows and intricately carved gargoyles. There are 332 steps to climb to reach the top, but the view from up there is well worth the effort. You should also have a wander around the windy streets of La Petit France to see the picturesque Alsatian houses lined with colourful geraniums. You can then head to the Meteor Brewery. It offers guided tours on which you’ll learn the six complex stages of creating and blending that goes into making the unique flavour of this 400-year-old beer. It wouldn’t be a barge holiday in France without a little culture!

Private Tours from Falmouth Cruise Port, Jamaica

Private Tours from Falmouth Cruise Port, Jamaica

Private tours from Falmouth Jamaica is the best way of enjoying your short sojourn on the island. Falmouth located between the famous resort towns of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios is strategically placed. The port of Falmouth was developed by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in conjunction with the Government of Jamaica.
Founded in 1769, Falmouth has a colorful history. It was the first town in the western hemisphere to have piped water, and had the busiest port in Jamaica during the late 1800s to early 1900s.

 

If you will be arriving on a cruise at Falmouth, you are in a great position to choose from any of the many excursions available. Ocho Rios which is just 60 minutes east of the port is home to some of the best tourist attractions on the island. Excursions such as the Dunn’s River, Blue Hole Secret Falls, horse-back ride and swim and river tubing are just few.

Dunn’s River is the premier tourist attractions in Jamaica and it is one of those places that everyone should do at least once. Blue Hole on the other hand is another water falls but offer a totally different experience which most conclude to be better than the Dunns. Another great river activity is river tubing on the White River with water swift enough to give a bit of Adrenalin rush.

Montego Bay on the other side of the port is just 30 minutes away. Excursions such as Rose Hall Great House, Golfing on any of the many courses, shopping, Rockland Bird Sanctuary among other things. This is a once in a life time experience where one can hand feed humming birds that live in the wild.

Private Falmouth transportation to your favorite attractions is the way to go. In order to fully immerse in the culture one has to be able to control your times and this is what you get with a Private Falmouth Tours. Certainly there are organized shared service available from the cruise lines. However, I’m sure that you would agree that private tours with a local as the potential to be the much better than the cookie cutter type.

Pre-booked your private Shore Excursions and get the best out of your day. Plan well and save both time and money. Jamaica has something for everyone including you.

Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Transylvania is really an area located in the central part of Romania, Eastern Europe. This is the land through the forest (from latin trans = crossing; silva = forest). The name itself implies that the land is immensely engrossed in beautiful valleys, hill-tops, forests and mountains – some of which use their riders and motorcycles for three rows that appreciate it all with stunning views.
All this sounds good, however, nothing is more exciting than the way to get there: Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Transfagarasan Street

Connecting Muntenia (southern Romania) to Transylvania, crossing Mount Fagaras, the Transfagarasan Road journey brings motorcyclists as much as 2,042 m in altitude on perfect tarmac ribbon, built similar to a race track, a Mecca for motorcycles. Today’s rider It has been built throughout the communist regime (1970-1974) under dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to lighten the access of troops. Due to the height of open roads only 3-4 months / year, generally from 15 June to 31 October, is highly dependent around Climate conditions. In the summer the streets are usually crowded, using peaks on weekends.

The riders must begin their journey from south to north (from Curtea de Arges to Cartisoara), by doing this, the scenery of the entire path ahead will be thrilling. Also they need to start riding each morning (around 08:00). By doing this they will lose the crowds and then really get a unique street feel with bends to last a lifetime. Caution also needs to be forwarded to the gas tank because there is no gas tank about this road, the rider must charge before starting the journey.

2. Transalpina Highway – referred to as Kings Road, connecting the city of Sugag in Transylvania with Novaci, crossing the Parang Mountains inside the central Carpathians. Using the highest peak at 2145m at Urdele Pass, the road takes the rider toward the clouds on the way to keep in mind. Pine forests, traditional sheepfolds where readers are offered standard “balmos” (food cooked from sheep grazing), beautiful scenery and lots of curves and hairpins. Just like Transfagarasan Road, it is better to ride on Sunday or every morning to conquer the traffic. Caution also needs to be forwarded to the gas tank because there is no service station about this road, the rider must charge before starting the journey.

3. Transbucegi Road – Romania’s third highest mountain road, Transbucegi is really a narrow asphalt road that leads to the Bucegi Plateau in the Bucegi Mountains. From the plateau you walk towards the Sphinx and Babele (the famous rock formations of the wind) can be explored. The roads to the Sphinx can take up to 45 minutes. It is necessary for your rider to keep in mind that they have to walk back to the motorbike as well which will enhance the leisurely ride in nature even more time.

Recommendations: Motorists think about the scenery that can only be reached with a little walking is encouraged to carry comfortable walking shoes and also to leave motorcycle shoes that are locked around the motorcycle. Also water along with chocolate bars for energy is recommended.

4. Sunset Mountains in the Western Carpathians gives you great rides, one of them – Transursoaia Road. From DN 1 in the town of Huedin the same snake as the Black Hills along the Belis Dam and Belisului Valley to the village of Horea. 80 km of bitumen on a narrow mountain road offering some great ride, stunning scenery and traditional stops on the highway, carved in wood from the locals.

Short distortion: in the Rachitele – the Vail area of ​​the Bride Waterfall, a waterfall 30m attracts visitors from around the world.

From May to October, based on the weather. Caution is needed because there is a narrow part of the area. It is recommended to ride all day because the mountain will reward the rider with spectacular scenery.

5. History of the Rich

Transylvania has everything from a large winding road to a medieval church and a fortified medieval fortress. Historians should not miss Cluj Napoca – home of the Saint Michael Cathedral, European Youth Capital by 2015, the fortress of Sighisoara Medieval – the birthday host of “Vlad The Impaller” (also called Dracula), the medieval town of Brasov for your Black home. The church, the medieval town of Sibiu – the former European cultural capital in 2007, is in the off-road spot of Redbul Romaniacs, Reasons to Visit Transylvania in Motorcycles

Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

For travel zealots or first timers, this will be a lifelong experience. Just you, your best friend, your favorite classic game, and the open road. Route 66 may be a well-known option, but for the adventurous souls longing to go off the beaten track: Iceland Ring Road calls you! Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland
Be sure to see this exciting sight

Just like a road trip, you have to do a bit of advanced planning to be able to see the scenery in all their glory. Ice crystal ice caves The Karnataka glacier must be booked prior to arrival to avoid disappointment, for example. The stunning natural caves can only be reached during the winter, and are very dangerous. Hire a guide to get the most out of your visit, and discover their depth.

The Crash Site of Sólheimasandur Plane may be hard to find, but it is even better for the challenges it faces in finding it. Wander through the simultaneous remnants of a US Navy aircraft of the 1970s for an interesting diversion on your journey.

Whale audiences should be at the top of your list, and the fjord near Akureyri is an ideal location to see minke whales, humps and bottles. There is something very miraculous when seeing these great beings in the flesh, and this is an experience you will never forget. Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Top Tips for Making Your Trip Tick Again Without Exams or Tribulation

There are many places to stop admiring the natural wonders of this special country on this journey. The route itself can, in fact, be driven in a tight 24-hour non-stop circle, but why do you do that and skip all that fun ?! Better take your time and get it all done. A week would be a good time to see all the best pieces, but much longer would be even better. It is also a good idea to leave a little time at the end of your trip if your flight is affected by bad winter weather.

Rent a van, collect the crew and go there with all your winter wool, playlists and cameras with plenty of space on your memory card … Wherever you look is a photo opportunity.

On the practical side you might want to practice your night driving so you can enjoy spending some of your trip in the dark when the Northern Lights are visible. Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Do not forget the GPS, the right tires for winter weather, and adequate insurance. You can combine your insurance needs in a trip like this and get travel and rent a car excess insurance one-fold.

Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveler and insurance expert with Let’s Go Insure team. Ethan’s spirit is to inspire his clients to go further, deeper and higher on their journey and his expertise in providing ideal insurance allows them to do just that. If you’re looking for the best travel policy, including overpaid car insurance, Let’s Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer competitive insurance without sacrificing protection. Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Making Magical Ski Memories with Children

Making Magical Ski Memories with Children

If your little ones are newbies to shredding powder then it is understandable that you will be preoccupied with making this a fun and memorable activity. I am a strong believer that the most important element in the equation is choosing the right resort.
Morzine is a superb choice as it is one of the few resorts with a Famille Plus status, which is awarded to those who demonstrate excellence services for families. It is also easy to reach with a Geneva to Morzine transfer. Morzine has gentle slopes, expert ski schools, charming chalets and dozens of great kid-orientated activities. This creates a wonderful atmosphere that will help your kids to embrace the world of skiing!

 

Read on for advice on helping your kids to have an unforgettable trip.

Are They Ready?

One of the most common questions that ski-loving parents ask is “when should my child start skiing?” Provided they have good balance and coordination, they should be able to get the hang of it. A love of snow is also a plus and not an issue with most kids!

How Can You Encourage Them?

A skiing vacation is not an ordinary vacation. Help them to get in the right mindset by showing them videos, reading books on skiing and generally showing them what a fun activity it is (this should not be too hard!) It is also wise to get them to try on their skis in the safety of their own home – this will develop confidence and make the first day less intimidating.

Laugh at Tumbles

We all eat the snow at some point. It is important to let your kids know that they will fall over, but that it is all part of the process and a key stage in learning. Tell them amusing stories of your own faceplants and laugh whenever you mess up on the slopes. This will keep things positive and add humour instead of stress or embarrassment.

Lessons or Go Alone?

This comes down to personal preference, but if you are confident that you can teach your children the ropes then, by all means, do so – they will feel more confident under the tutelage of a parent. Start them on gentle runs on the baby slopes and make the experience as happy as possible. On the other side of the debate, ski instructors are trained in helping youngsters and provide a fun and safe learning environment. It can also be beneficial to learn alongside kids their own age too.

Tips and Accessories

One great tip I’ve picked up over the years is to give your kid the handle end of your ski pole and hold it across both of you for support. This helps them to get used to the feeling of travelling across the snow. Harnesses can also be of great assistance in developing confidence with newbies.

Strike a Superhero Pose

If they are struggling at any point, get them to strike a superhero pose with their head up, hands on hips and legs shoulder-width apart. In addition to adding a bit of humour, re-search shows that adopting this pose boosts self-confidence and allows them to be in the moment. This is a handy tip not just for skiing!

Overall, it is essential that you let your children progress at their own pace and you should never push them. They should associate skiing with fun and the best way to do this is to create a positive environment in which they can learn.

How to Get to Morzine

Flying to Geneva from London takes around 1.5 hours and many of the budget carriers make the flight. You do not want to be messing around with public transport with little ones in tow, so I suggest booking a Geneva to Morzine transfer for stress-free access. The journey from Geneva to Morzine takes just over an hour by road.

Understanding the Weather of the Galapagos

Understanding the Weather of the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are blessed with a climate that means there’s never really a bad time to visit. Visitor numbers to each of the islands are strictly monitored by the national park conservancy, however, so most wildlife holidays in Galapagos tend to be in the same peak periods in order to minimise the impact on the habitat and animal species.
While the archipelago is on the Equator, the weather is not tropical. It has its own microclimate that could best be defined as sub-tropical in nature. There are two seasons – the dry season and the wet season – and, while it can be visited year round, the best wildlife holidays in Galapagos tend to be centred around the months between November and February.

 

Fast Facts on the Galapagos Climate

• The weather in the archipelago is governed by the ocean currents. It is at the convergence of three major currents: the Humboldt, the Panama and the Cromwell.

• Even though the archipelago is located in the tropics it has a unique microclimate, which is surprisingly dry.

• The El Niño weather phenomenon occurs every 5-7 years, causing sea levels to rise markedly.

• The El Niño effect can have a negative effect on the marine wildlife of the islands – particularly the sea lions and Marine Iguanas.

• In the warm season, temperatures average from 27ºC to 32ºC and water temperatures are between 21ºC to 26ºC.

• In the dry season, temperatures average from 21ºC to 27ºC and water temperatures are between 18ºC to 24ºC.

• The warmest months are January and February, while the coolest are from May to September.

• Due to its equatorial position, the archipelago has an equal number of daylight and darkness hours throughout the year.

The Warm Season: December to May

The most popular time for wildlife holidays in Galapagos are the months between November and May. Both the air and water temperatures are higher and it is peak breeding time for land birds and nesting turtles.

Although this time of the year is classified as the rainy season, there is also plenty of sunshine around. Periods of rain are usually short (although daily), interspersed with warm, sunny stretches. The islands are teeming with active wildlife and the warmer oceans provide calm seas and better visibility, making the perfect conditions for snorkelling and swimming.

The Dry Season: June to December

In the dry season, the Humboldt Current coming from the southernmost reaches of South America sets a chill in the ocean and the trade winds bring colder and often stormy weather. Mist settles around the high altitudes – this is the time the highlands are at their most verdant and lush. Due to the nutrient-rich waters brought by the southern currents, there are huge numbers of fish in the waters surrounding the archipelago. This results in a greater number of seabirds, including penguins and albatross. However, the chillier oceans are not quite as appealing for snorkelers or divers, and guided wildlife holidays in Galapagos are not as frequent.

How the Weather Affects Biodiversity

The islands’ three distinct ecosystems are all strongly affected by the weather patterns. In the years of El Niño, the terrestrial region is abundant with flower and fruit bearing plants, which also causes an increase in the populations of insects and birds. The marine ecosystem thrives with the arrival of the Humboldt Current, but the colder oceanic temperatures mean that the seaweed on which the Marine Iguanas and sea lions rely as a food source is greatly diminished. This causes problems not just in the immediate population, but also sees a decline in reproduction. In the years of La Niña (which produces the opposite conditions to El Niño), the reverse of all these effects is true in all three ecosystems.