The Incredible Galapagos

Olivia and I have been off the bikes since March 15. We got to Tumbaco and stayed at the Casa de Ciclista, the home of a local bike mechanic. Santiago has opened his home for the past 27 years to cycling tourists passing through Ecuador. We camped for free in his back yard and left our bikes in his garage so we could travel into Quito by bus.

Once in Quito we organized a trip to the Galapagos. We knew we had to go, this was the closest we would ever be with the time to do it.

The flight is about two hours from Quito due west. We arrived to the hot and barren landscape of Baltra island and took a short boat ride across a glistening blue channel to Santa Cruz. After a cab ride into Puerto Ayora, we were set to explore.

A rocky 2 hour boat ride took us to Santa Fe Island.
Sea Lions relaxing on Santa Fe Island.
Iguanas hanging out in the shade waiting for fruit to fall.
Condors flying overhead.
Flamingos on Santa Cruz Island.

Giant Tortoises roam many of the islands, this one is in a breeding center as efforts are being made to bring the population back. It’s estimated up to 200,000 Tortoises were killed for meat and oil.

The next day we took a speedboat to Isabela Island. The Island was formed by five volcanoes, some of which are still active. There are five endemic species of giant tortoises on the island, separated from each other by the rocky lava.

Lava and cacti cover the ground of this beautiful but scorching hot environment.

A haven for blue footed boobies and other birds miles from shore.
Cacti here grow 1 meter every 330 years. This cactus is well over one thousand years old.
Isabela Island.
Mangroves spread out all through the island creating tunnels where tortoises and iguanas can take shelter.
This is a lava tunnel formed as the surface cooled but the lava underneath flowed out to sea.
A breeding ground for Iguanas.

White tipped sharks cooling off and resting in a channel.

Blue footed boobie hanging out.

Mangroves everywhere.

Sierra Negra volcano in the background of a lush Isabela Island.

3 thoughts on “The Incredible Galapagos

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  1. Enjoy your wonderful adventures! Galapagos is an enchanting place. Tom and I were there several years ago and enjoyed the interesting and unique topography and wildlife – amazing snorkelling.

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