First Full Day in the Galapagos!

Today, we woke up on Isla Isabela! We’re all really excited about the exciting opportunities we have here, and we got up nice and early to start the day. After breakfast, one group went on a hike to Sierranegra, a caldera made up of volcanic rock. Based on what the others had to say the hike was strenuous but very beautiful. I went with a group to a local breeding center. On the way over, we walked down an incredible path lined by trees and other foliage, and raised above a small body of water. We saw some creatures, including large black iguanas, pink flamingos, and small lizards. These made for some great photo and video opportunities, and I used my telephoto lens to get some great pictures from a distance!

Once we reached the breeding center, we got to see dozens of giant tortoises! They were kept in enclosures and separated by age, and we even got to see some baby hatchlings! I know that a lot of us were looking forward to seeing tortoises during our time in the Galapagos, and they were just as fascinating as we hoped! After we visited the breeding center, we walked to the beach and some of us went for a swim in the ocean. We could also see crabs and iguanas on the rocks near the water.

After we had lunch, some of the group went surfing, and I went with a group to find kayak rentals. Near the pier, a bunch of sea lions were sprawled on the beach lounging or sleeping. We ended up finding guides and went on a beautiful kayak tour around the bay, seeing turtles, penguins, crabs, iguanas, and more. It was so much fun, and it was really amazing to see the penguins. After kayaking, we went to a happy hour at a charming beach bar that also had volleyball games and dancing going on, and then had a meeting back at the hotel to discuss our plans for the rest of the week.

We all went for dinner in groups and then many of us ended up back at the bar for the night to enjoy each other’s company, talk with our tour guide Jose and some of our other guides from the day, and take in the beauty of the ocean at night! The sights and sounds of the waves were fantastic, and it was a great way to end our first full day in the Galapagos! Our kayak guide from earlier even gave me a piece of his aloe plant to use on my sunburned shoulders, which I really appreciated. So far, we’re loving Isabela!