Blogs from Isabela Island, Galápagos, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island June 17th 2019

Another early morning and a day packed with adventure. Kirsten as always sets an alarm on her phone and we were set to get up at 6:30. This was not a shower day for Chester, so 30 minutes is all that is needed to get ready. Except, the alarm did not go off this morning, and Kirsten woke up at 6:40. No matter, we were both ready by 7 and had 15 minutes for breakfast before our first pick-up. Today we were hiking an active volcano. The hike was 16 KM, which is about 10 miles. We had all our gear: hiking boots, rain jackets, water, sunglasses. Thankfully, there were only 8 of us on the hike with our guide. Everyone was young and fit, except of course the two of us. We get shuttled every ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island June 15th 2019

Kirsten was complaining that we are do not get to sleep in at all on our trip. Today we were able to set the alarm for 7 am! For us, that was sleeping in. Chester was in bed last night early with her ear all jacked up, and Kirsten stayed up watching horrible television. We both still got plenty of sleep and were up and ready to go! Today was a travel day to another island after our morning excursion. That meant we needed to pack up everything before we left. Packing up everything didn’t mean the little lizard that was crawling around in Kristen’s suitcase before she finished packing. We definitely have some little creatures in our bags that are probably coming home with us. Jorge, our guide, picked us up at 8:30 for a ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island November 30th 2018

Another calm, smooth overnight navigation had us at Moreno Point on Isabela island. I should mention how we get off the boats with the dry-landings. Fabian and Christian who did a lot of the zodiac driving would jump off first and then Fabian would always say “one by one, side by side” which we would all repeat and they would grab your arm and you would grab theirs and they pulled you up. This was a dry-landing onto a massive black lava flow which had big cracks that created mini-canyons. Some parts were quite smooth and looked like highways with big cracks in them. The various shapes were fascinating. After walking over the lava flow for a while we then came across some lakes with beautiful flamingoes which were quite a contrast to the harsh black ... read more
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The yacht had not moved very far since yesterday. Both excursions this morning and afternoon were to areas on the northwestern side of Isabela Island, opposite Fernandina. The morning destination was Urbina Bay, featuring a black volcanic beach. So far I (Lesley) had avoided 'wet landings' and continued doing so. Don, Caroline and Max boarded the Zodiac to hike around a flat-ish rocky area and then to spend an hour snorkeling. Don describes here what they saw. After wading to the beach we donned the hiking shoes we had carried. Our snorkling gear we left in a cluster in the beach - it wasn't as though people were going to meander by and plunder our stuff! We wandered the trail following the guide, who highlighted plants and birds that we passed. This guide also pointed ... read more
after tortoise ate apples
Caroline examines what Max found on volcanic Urbina beach
Writing on the Wall of Tagus Cove with HMS Beagle 1835


Day 9 - Isabella and Fernandina Island 3 May 2018 + edits Isabella 5,000 population -> Isabela 2,000 At 3:30 am we crossed the equator again to the northern hemisphere. No we didn’t notice any difference. Then at 5:30 am we again crossed back to the southern hemisphere - but we were still asleep and the motion of the rocking of the yacht didn’t change at all! We slept late this morning - until 7 am and again awoke to the magnificent rock formations of Isabela Island. Four of the islands are inhabited by humans and Isabela is one of them. The human population of approximately 2,000 lives in the south of the island. During the trip with the exception of the beginning and the end we avoided all the populated parts of the archipelago. After ... read more
dark rocks line Isabela Island cave
Sea Lions swim around our Zodiac
way to Fernandina lava fields

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island August 31st 2017

All of our activities today were at Isabela. For me, it consisted of three activities: a cruise in the pangas at Elisabeth bay in the morning, and a walk up into the hills at Tagus Cove, plus a panga ride at the same location. There was an afternoon opportunity for a snorkel trip, but I declined. I surmised (correctly, as it turned out) that I would not see anything worth the chill. Elisabeth Bay is the location of the nesting sites of the Galápagos penguins. It is worrisome to see them using such limited nesting sites. WE got our first look at them at this morning's panga ride. (Actually, my second look since I got dive-bombed by two on the earlier snorkel trip, but did not see them above water). We went deep into the mangrove ... read more
Penguin nesting site
Galápagos penguins
Galápagos penguins

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island August 17th 2016

Starting with a 3am start we headed out to the airport for our flight to Galapagos. We had to have our bags checked to make sure we were carrying no seeds or animals!! Ironically apples were ok to take to the Galapagos but not to take into Mexican customs!! We arrived on the island of Baltra, an Island dedicated to the airport from here we headed across to Santa Cruz for lunch via bus, boat and bus again before getting a 2-3hr boat to our first island stay. Our first island, Floreana introduced us to seals, red sea iguanas and giant tortoises. We did some snorkelling and saw some amazing sea turtles, completely oblivious to humans!! This island is home to only 150 people and some giant tortoises which we also saw. Our second island, Isabela ... read more
Santa Cruz 'port'
Reg Iguanas on Floreana Island

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island April 22nd 2016

With a great introduction to the Galapagos on San Cristobal (and a stopover on Santa Cruz) we arrived at our second destination: Isabela. Largest of the Islands, and also the least populated (of the ones with folks on them at any rate) we approached this stop as a chance to chill out in between sightseeing adventures...decided on spending a bit more as well to be on the beach on a recommendation, and couldn't have worked out better... Arrived late afternoon to Puerto Villamil, and after a short taxi ride into town we settled into our digs for the next few days, Casa Los Delfines...great place, the woman who runs it is really sweet, we had access to a large balcony on the third floor overlooking the beach/ocean and the included breakfasts were delicious... Once settled we ... read more
Volcan Sierra Negra
Flamingos!
How You Doin'?

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island January 2nd 2016

We made the decision a couple of months back to go to the Galápagos for Christmas, having been undecided for a while due to the cost. The more we read about the islands, the more obvious it became that we had to go as we may never get the opportunity again. On our second day there, we were certain we had made the right choice!! It is a place unlike anywhere else we have been. Still very much Ecuadorian in that it's a bit scruffy round the edges, you can find incredibly beautiful scenery on these islands. However, that's not the most memorable thing... Neither Tom nor I are massive wildlife buffs, but I challenge anyone to see a giant tortoise in the wild and not turn into a big kid!! The vast majority of tourists ... read more
Crab spotting at Puerto Villamil
Chillin'
Blue footed boobies!

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island November 29th 2015

Punta Moreno / Elizabeth Bay Puerto Villamilistä jatkoimme Isabela -saaren läntiselle rannalle. Siellä lähdimme ensimmäiselle veneretkelle tutustumaan saaren rantoihin. Isabelan saari on varsin nuori ja sillä on kaikkiaan 5 tulivuorta joista Volcan Sierra Negra on viimeisimpänä purkautunut vuonna 2009. Saaren rannat ovat näillä kohdin pääsääntöisesti hyvin kivikkoista ja maasto on lähinnä pelkkää mustaa laavaa. Rannalle ei siis eritysemmin kannata lähteä kävelemään vaan eläinten tarkkailu veneestä on huomattavasti helpompaa. Rantaa lähestyttäessä näytti lähinnä siltä, että siellä mustassa erämaassa ei voi olla mitään. Mutta yllätyksiin on jo totuttu ja niin nytkin. Pian löytyivät ensimmäiset rannalla pomppivat pingviinit. Nämä endeemiset - eli vain täällä elävät ja täältä kotoisin olevat pingviinit ovat pohjoisimmat la... read more
Punta Moreno
Eka pingviini kuivalla maalla!
Galapagosin merimetso




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