Welcome to guest author Jonathan who is a keen travel writer with interests in South America.  Here he shares his knowledge about the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands sit over 500 miles off the west coast of South America and are home to a bewildering array of wildlife. Some 70,000 tourists visit their remote shores every year in anticipatory search of wonder at one of the world’s most intriguing destinations. From the famous giant tortoises to the rare waved albatrosses, there is an abundance of wildlife to be discovered.

The Galapagos are noted for the trip that Charles Darwin took in the 19th century, which proved the catalyst for a step change in how humans view themselves and the genesis of theory of natural selection – while much has changed since then, the Galapagos remains a vital cradle of life on earth.

The somewhat double edged sword of tourism both helps sustain conservation on the islands but also has its drawbacks in terms of pollution and stress on the local eco system. One increasingly popular trip that tourists have been making on a Galapagos holiday is a safari styled on the similar wildlife journeys made by visitors to Africa’s large game parks. The aim of the Galapagos safari camp is to provide visitors with a means by which nature can be experienced close up, while also attempting to sustainably protect the environment. While holidaying under canvas may not be to everyone’s taste, the tents on the Galapagos are in fact, the height of luxury that even include hot showers, that are perfect for winding down after a day’s exploring. Furthermore, the land used for the safari camp enables native species of trees and other flora to flourish, as it is protected from agricultural development.

Camping holidays are increasing in popularity in South America, with the rise of specialist operators in destinations including the Torres del Paine National Park, which is located near the Argentine border in Chile. Camping in this spectacular park is a great way of experiencing a true South American back country. Access to the main attractions is facilitated by camping and it is possible to walk the iconic W-route in a few days. If you fancy staying under canvas, you will be rewarded with amazing views and the trek of a lifetime. It is best to visit this area of Patagonia in the summer months between the end of December and February, in part because of the more clement weather but also to take advantage of its southerly latitude that makes for very long hours of daylight.

Jonathan is a keen travel blogger with interests in South America incluidng, the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia, Argentina, Chile and Peru