Observe the romance of nature – Ecuador

Observe the romance of nature – Ecuador

So how did you woo your sweetheart?

A box of fancy chocolates? Flowers? Some sharp manoeuvres on the dancefloor? Chances are it wasn't as graceful as the courtship display of the waved albatross.

You can watch these huge birds - which mate for life - perform their loving routine of beak-clicking and neck-bobbing on Ecuador's Galápagos Islands. Every March the albatross return to Española - one of the volcanic archipelago's 15 main islands - to breed. And this being the Galápagos, where the creatures have little fear of humans, you can get unbelievably close to the intimate action.

For the best Galápagos honeymoon, plan wisely. Book a cabin on a cruise ship: smaller boats mean more time ashore, bigger ones are more stable. But most important is the route the boat is taking. The three best sites are on Española, Genovesa and Fernandina, so pick an itinerary that includes these islands. And think about the time of year; for example, April-December is the time to see the albatross, June-December is best for whales.

Year-round highlights include snorkelling with penguins, strolling on white-sand beaches a-flop with sea lions and hiking in the highlands with giant tortoises.

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