Hola de Isabela Island!
On Tuesday we flew out from Quito and made the long anticipated journey to the Galápagos Islands. After a tedious stop in Guayaquil we eventually made it to San Cristobal, excitedly taking in our first glimpses of the Galápagos from the narrow plane windows. Once through customs we drove to our hotel and were gifted some much treasured free time, which was spent exploring the beachfront and browsing the various shops.
The next morning we met our guides who will be with us for the duration of the tour and got suited up with snorkelling gear, then headed out to a bay not far from the hotel for some eargerly awaited snorkelling. We were joined by a sea turtle and a couple of very playful sea lions, making it an incredible once in a lifetime experience. After lunch we visited the research centre where we learnt about the history of the Galápagos and their current conservation projects, then ventured out for more snorkelling joined by more playful sea lion pups, even spotting a blue footed booby on our way.
On Thursday we said goodbye to San Cristobal and set off for Isabela, stopping off at Santa Cruz to visit the Charles Darwin breeding centre for giant tortoises and land iguanas. Though the boat rides were uncomfortable to say the least it made our arrival in Isabela even more wonderful as we were greeted with beautiful views of the island as the sky magically cleared. Today we were treated with a 5 hour walk ascending the Sierra Negra volcano, the most active volcano in the Galápagos. Though the rain and dust made it just slightly frustrating the vast lava fields in the volcano’s crater and glimpse across the whole island were certainly worth it.
Tomorrow, hopefully after seeing a few penguins, we begin our journey back to Santa Cruz then the long haul back home begins.