"All pre-trip paperwork was clear, organized and helpful. We felt very well prepared and loved the packing list and itinerary table that we received with trip details. You were absolutely available to us for any questions we had. The personal contact, kind efforts by Jen to help us donate some things to an agency, and the beautiful and inspiring travel was more than we could have imagined. Words cannot even slightly approach the positive feelings we have for Untamed Path in the coordination of this life inspiring adventure."
Sandia Park, New Mexico
While in the islands it is nice to have a field guide that discusses the highlights on each island so that you can read up on the next day’s visits after your guide gives a briefing each night. A species identification book and a novel about human history in Galapagos adds to the fun on your trip as well.
The books and resources below are a selection from our Galapagos library that we recommend as accurate and enjoyable reading. There are usually a few books onboard your yacht to borrow but selection varies.
Ecuador in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics and Culture
by Wilma Roos
General overview of Ecuador. Discusses environmental issues, culture, political climate and some history. Kindle version is most recently updated. Printed version is outdated to the best of our knowledge at this time.
Ecuador and Galapagos (Insight Guides) - by Luke Waterson
Visual guide book including culture & history information about Ecuador with many photos. Publishers website
Galapagos Islands Explorer Map - by Ocean Explorer Maps
Very basic folded map featuring biographies of explorers, historical time line, information about main islands, photos & illustrations of wildlife, basic information about evolution theory, endemic species, conservation and history. Scale 1:400,000. Very slimmed down version of what would be included in one of the guide books listed below.
Galapagos: A Natural History - by Michael H Jackson
Introductory natural history book including major plants and animals inhabiting Galapagos archipelago. Covers geology, biology and ecology of the Galapagos. Easy to follow identification of plants, mammals, land and sea birds. Also includes introductory information on biological evolution, ecology and species diversity. Helpful guide to have with you as a reference for upcoming island visits while you are in Galapagos.
Galapagos, Islands Born of Fire (large hardcover format, coffee table book) - by Tui De Roy
DeRoy is a native wildlife photographer who grew up in the Galapagos and seeks to protect the threatened animals and marine life through her photography. The photos speak for themselves and serve as a great taste of some of what you may experience pre-trip or as a post trip memoir.
Galapagos Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide - by David Horwell and Pete Oxford
This is a Bradt guide about the islands, packed with information about mammals, birds, reptiles, marine life, visitors sites, habitat and history. Authors are both naturalist guides. Includes color photographs. Helpful identification book to have onboard. Bradt Guides website
Wildlife of the Galapagos - by Julian Fitter, Daniel Fitter & David Hosking
Includes information about reptiles, birds and plants. Color photos and text. There are also maps included.
Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos - by Paul Humann & Ned Delooch
Well laid out format, can be fun to use after snorkel sessions to identify what you have seen. Color photos and helpful descriptions identifying fish and marine mammals.
Equatorial Guide to the Stars - by Ken Graun
Star chart specifically designed for use around the equator but it is useful from latitudes 30 degrees North to 30 degrees South. For both beginning star gazers and more seasoned amateur astronomers. The star chart indicates all 88 Constellations, names of 73 Stars, Milky Way Band and the the path of the Sun, Moon and Planets. Also noted are favorite star patterns including the Southern Cross and Great Square. Publisher’s website
Flowering Plants of the Galapagos - by Conley McMullen and Ghillean Prance
For the Galapagos visitor who has a special interest in botany this is a helpful guidebook including photos of flowering plants, detailed habitat information and checklists by visitor site. One page per plant including 436 species.
The Voyage of the Beagle - by Charles Darwin
Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited during the Voyage of H.M.S Beagle Round the World. Rich in descriptions of observations by a young Charles Darwin on his 5 year journey of natural history collecting from 1831 to 1836. The roots of evolutionary theory as it was developing in his mind.
Evolutions Workshop; God and Science on the Galapagos Islands - by Edward J Larson
Chronicles the importance of the Galapagos Islands’ impact on past and modern scientific thought, especially as relates to evolutionary theory. Edward Larson is a Pulitzer Prize winner. Review of this book
Author discussing another book of his about Evolution in a radio interview
The Beak of the Finch: A story of evolution in our time - by Jonathan Weiner Author’s website
This is a timeless classic. Recommended for those interested in delving deep into the theory and concept of evolution. You don’t have to be a biologist to enjoy this book as it is not overly technical. Weiner documents evolution on a tangible time scale through his studies of the Galapagos Finches. Comprehensive book review of "Beak of the Finch"
The Galapagos Affair - by John Treherne
Details strange happenings in Galapagos on Floreana Island in the 1930’s. Love affairs, murders, mysteries, and most of all proof that the truth is far stranger than fiction. Book review
My Father's Island, A Galapagos Quest - by Johanna Angermeyer
Captures the sense of adventure, wonder and fear of rugged pioneer life in the Galapagos Islands many years ago. Angermeyer grew up in Nebraska and went back to Galapagos in the 1970’s to try and find out what happened to her father, a refugee from Hitler, on the Galapagos Islands where he and her mother had lived before his death. Out of print but still available at some libraries, used or through Longitude Books.
Listen to a radio interview with author.
Plundering Paradise, The Hand of Man on the Galapagos Islands - by Michael D’orso Author’s website
A candid look at how humans have impacted and continue to impact the islands and the politics surrounding this. A unique perspective on man’s relationship with the fragile ecosystems and attempts to preserve them.
Success In Spanish CD-ROM - by Syracuse Language Systems
Great interactive intro or brush up. Includes: windows CD-Rom, 292 page Spanish dictionary, multimedia glossary and record/playback feature that compares your pronunciation with a native speaker.
Latin American Spanish Phrasebook - published by Lonely Planet
Pocket size, 308 pages includes commonly used (and a few not so commonly used) phrases for many different occasions and situations.
Usborne Flashcard Spanish - by Jo Litchfield
Ages 4-8 and beyond. Colorful flash cards to learn basic Spanish vocabulary.
Trend Enterprises Verbos Skill Drill Flash Cards - by Trend
Ages 4-8 and beyond. Colorful flash cards to learn basic Spanish verbs.
We're Sailing to Galapagos, A Week in the Pacific - by Laurie Krebs Author’s website
Ages 4-8. A week at sea on a red sailed boat, cute ryhming story with illustrations to learn about some of the Galapagos creatures, Darwin and the islands. Publisher’s website
Swimming with Sea Lions - by Ann McGovern Author’s website
Ages 7-10. Fun story about a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Great introduction to get children prepared and excited about a trip to Galapagos. 4th Grade Galapagos lesson plan including this book
Island, A Story of the Galapagos - by Jason Chin
Ages 8-12. Non fiction scientific narrative including illustrations and watercolors of Galapagos creatures. Covers geology, ecology, evolutionary theory and more in an engaging format. NY Times Book Review
The Voyage of the Beetle, A Journey Around the World With Charles Darwin - by Anne H. Weaver
Ages 9 and up. Rosie the Beetle accompanies Darwin on his voyage of the Beagle. Rosie takes Darwin “under her wing”, providing clues and hints that guides his insights. The young reader is challenged to use the clues to solve the mystery before Darwin does! Author’s website with classroom resources
Boobies, Iguanas and Other Critters - by Linda Litteral
Ages 10-14. Covers basic information about the Galapagos Islands from a scientific perspective. Many illustrations.
Find the Constellations - by H.A. Rey
Grades 4-6, easy to use constellation finder guide to get kids prepped with understanding and identifying constellations in the back yard before going to the equator to look at constellations. Some of the book still applies on the equator, other parts do not.
The True Adventures of Charley Darwin - by Carolyn Meyer
Grades 6–10. Starting with young Charley Darwin’s life as a child and his love of all things natural world including birds, eggs, feathers and insects and leading to his thrilling and dangerous years of studying while sailing around the world. Charley sacrificed a great deal in order to follow his passion.
Hisorical Novel Society review about this Galapagos book for young readers
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