Blogs from Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador, South America - page 2


Wednesday 1st We leave our hostel in plenty of time to catch the blue bus back to the airport. As we reach the main street we find that there's no traffic at all and the streets are all cordoned off and there's armed police in full riot gear everywhere ! The busses aren't going to run from the normal place and when we ask some locals they don't know where the busses will be. We walk about a mile through check points, with police all around us and armoured cars parked in the side streets. It's 1st May and a public holiday and they're expecting riots ! We can't find the bus so walk back to the hostel for a taxi. The only problem being we don't have enough currency and the ATM's are all boarded ... read more
Quito 2
Marine Iguana Santa Cruz

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island April 30th 2014

Vacation? Yes. Rest and relax? Not until today. I forego the first expedition of the day to see the land iguanas, it entails more boulder hopping and I opt for a massage instead, thank you Hilda. I return to the cabin just in time to head off for the 10:40 deep-water drift snorkel excursion; oh glory of glories, what a wonderful hour and a half. A sheer wall along Santa Cruz Island is bejeweled with corals, soft and hard and infinite varieties of vibrant multi-colored fish. The water is warm and the dive skin is more than enough protection from the sun and prevents chill in the water. This is a great ship, with lots of stairs. I am estimating I am clocking about 30 flights a day. Day two I really couldn’t figure out why ... read more
Sea Pencil Urchin
Galapagos Coral

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island March 21st 2014

After 10 weeks of god knows how many super noodle dinners and scrimping and saving where possible, the time had finally come for Galapagos. Hoping for a super last minute deal, we booked a one way flight and hoped for some luck. Only three days prior to our flight departing, the deal was done. We had managed to bag ourselves a half price 8 day cruise around the north and west islands of Galapagos aboard a 'First class' boat. Money transferred and having just spent 1/4 of our 16 week budget on a one week trip, our expectations were high and were really hoping for something special. We arrived in Guayaquil late in the evening, with just enough time to grab some dinner, sort our bags and get to bed. Another early morning, however this time ... read more
Chilled Lizard
Curious sea lion

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 27th 2014

So on Friday morning, I checked out of my hotel and headed from the old, historic part of town, to the new town and to the hotel where I would meet my group for the Galápagos tour. When I arrived, my room mate was out so I decided to take a trip up the cable car which overlooks Quito from a height of over 4000m. Unfortunately, that afternoon was rather cloudy so my view was much better on the cable car ride up and down than at the top but I got myself a hot chocolate and was happy! In the evening, we had our welcome meeting for the tour, where I met everyone I would be stuck with for the next ten days and got some basic information about our trip. Afterwards, my room mate ... read more
View from the cable car
On the cable car

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 10th 2014

31 January 2014 – Friday – Guayaquil to Galapagos, Ecuador Mid-morning flight to Galapagos. The taxi was 25 minutes’ late so that created some anxiety for us. It was raining. The flight was two hours and full of Swedish holiday makers heading for a Galapagos Cruise Tour and backpackers heading for the cheap hostels and white sand beaches. The plane lands on one small island, Baltra, and a local airline transit bus takes us to the ferry. A ten minute ferry ride costs 75 cents and lands us on the north end of Santa Cruz Island. Another bus transports us the length of the island to its capital, Puerto Ayora. Our home for the next three nights is a ground floor flat owned by a native of Galapagos, Aura, a young naturalist working for National Geographic. ... read more
Galapagos 008
Galapagos 023
Galapagos 027


South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 3rd 2014

January 3, 2014 Early morning start today and a tour of some more of the sights on Santa Cruz Island. We enjoyed a good morning with several stops. Snorkeling a short distance from the port, and a look at small island that is the home to many birds and a lot of Sea Lions and Marine Iguanas. Then a very interesting walk through some of the preserve to view Iguanas and some interesting terrain in the dry lowlands with cacti and bush. Lots of birds. Too many Iguanas. The Iguana photo ops reminded us of Africa where everyone rushes to get a first photo of a Zebra and then you see nothing but Zebras for the rest of the trip. Ditto - Too many Iguanas. Very interesting place and good tour guides. Visited Las Grietas. This ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 2nd 2014

January 1, 2014 Today we left our winter home in Arizona and traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador via Miami. Relatively painless connections and an overnight stay before our early morning flight to Baltra Island Airport and Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. January 2, 2014 Flight this morning from Guayaquil to Baltra Airport, Isla Baltra, Galapagos, Ecuador. Easy flight of under 2 hours. Then some interesting ( to say the least ) connections from the airport via short bus ride, a short ferry ride, and a taxi trip to Puerto Ayora. ( all with our bags - Note to self. --Travel Light !!! ) This last segment included a visit to a land turtle viewing area in the wild. This was a very interesting walk through some nice countryside and a very close up experience with some very large, ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 1st 2014

After breakfast I departed the Xavier 3 (the boat I had been on for the last several days) for the last time and set out for the island of Santa Cruz. We had been 15 passengers on the boat and 7 crew members. The Darwin Research Center is on Santa Cruz where they are successfully breeding Galapagos tortoises to help repopulate the islands. We saw some tortoises well over 100 years old and some only one year old. A few flights later and I'm in the Quito airport waiting for my flight home. Usually at the airport before an international flight home I'm scrambling to either spend or trade in my foreign currency. Not in Ecuador. They use the dollar here as their currency, something I didn't know until I started researching the country prior to ... read more
the boat i was on for 4 days

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island September 6th 2013

Currently in Huarez, Peru (Sept. 12th) Started Sept.5th: in puerto moreno on san cristobal, preparing to fly to guayaquil tomorrow... Happy Birthday, Lisa! We flew into the Island of Santa Cruz (Baltra) on aug. Wed 28th and took the island bus from the ferry to Puerto Ayora (easy transfer). We ended up at the Elizabeth hotel, which is right on the main drag (charles darwin) for $55/night, which is about the lowest of the low end. Wilmer is trying hard to spruce up the place; there was alot of painting going on and new matresses being delivered but our room was very tight and damp. But, we wanted to spend our money on tours rather than on our hotel and for the 3days we spent on Santa Cruz it was adequate. And wilma was very accomodating. ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island August 16th 2013

We awoke early and headed to breakfast for 4am. We met up with the other 14 people that would be going on this adventure to the Galapagos Islands with us. I am so excited, I've always wanted to go here to see all the animals. We boarded a mini bus and headed to the airport. Here we checked in and flew to Santa Cruz Island. We were met by our guide Dannielle. The 16 of us then boarded another bus, boat, bus then dingy to take us to our boat. This would be home for the next 4 days of our cruise around the islands. After a lovely lunch we headed back to Santa cruise to see the Galapagos giant land Turtles. They were huge and we all spent time taking many photos. We even got ... read more

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