Although it’s been a while since I posted about our trip to the Galapagos, the amazing details of our adventure are definitely not over. Part 2 to the post takes us to Isabela Island, the largest of the Galapagos, but least populated of the islands that are inhabited.
We started off with a two hour high speed boat through the open ocean from Santa Cruz. A remarkable journey in and of itself, but not for those light in stomach. Large swells and expertise positioning as we went made for an adventure we added to our memories.
Upon landing at Isabela, we made our way to our boutique hotel with a wonderful view of the ocean, and literally across the street from an army of these guys….incredible marine iguanas!
Once again, the astonishing landscape and abundance of wildlife was a joy to see. No matter where you look, your are eyes are continually filled with visual bounty. One of the real treasures being here is seeing how nature, once she’s not threatened by humans, loses her fear. All of these animals are respected and revered as important to the Galapagos and to our planet.
Next, we toured a small nearby island with an incredible volcanic terrain. There were sea lions, marine iguanas, a great amount of birds, including penguins and blue footed boobies, but most exciting for myself was snorkeling with the white tipped reef sharks.
As we wrapped up the tour of the island, we jumped overboard into the crisp cool waters and followed our guide through an ancient lava tube. Roughly ten foot wide at top and twelve feet deep, just below us were dozens of white tipped reek sharks. Remarkable creatures that nest together and one of the only sharks that does not need to constantly move to breath. A true highlight of the day!
The next day we were off to Los Tuneles, another remarkable site via a 45 minute boat ride from the port. Remnants of ancient lava tunnels abound here creating sharp volcanic arches and pathways that have now been filed with cacti and many other species of plants that are the perfect setting for blue footed boobie nests and other feathered friends. Where the ocean has come in, and carved an endless maze of waterways, there are sea turtles, sea horses, fish aplenty and any other sea life you would expect in such a beautifully secret and serene place as this.
The following day Hilcia and I joined a small tour group to hike the largest active volcanic caldera in the Galapagos, Sierra Negra. A nice five mile hike through fairly simple terrain, with many breathtaking stops for viewing along the way, was a must for us to do.
Approximately more than 500,000 years old and one of the largest calderas in South America, Sierra Negra is still active and last erupted in 2018. Incredibly primal and awesome in its scale and size, it invites the wheels of imagination and wonder as you gaze out far beyond to the far side.
Finally, after snorkeling, hiking, adventuring, for a very full and truly amazing week, we decided to explore the local beach for a short bit of rest and relaxation. Happily, to my great and super happy surprise, we discovered there was a beach break that invited surfers, body boarders and body surfers alike. Never have I felt so alive, so intertwined with nature as when I was there in that wonderfully refreshing ocean catching a wave alongside a beautiful primal marine Iguana.
Simply said….extraordinary. Thank you Galápagos for an experience and trip of a lifetime. One that we will truly never forget….