The Galapagos Islands provided a nice refuge from our first two weeks of traveling. Chris fully recovered from his stomach bug and we were off to spend the next five days exploring the Galapagos Islands by yacht.
The Galapagos Islands offers an array of different animals all viewable in their natural and untouched environment. On one side of Santa Cruz Island, we saw hundreds and hundreds of blue footed boobies. There were also marine iguanas, bright red crabs, flamingos and beautiful beaches. Genovese Island was a sanctuary for many different birds. We saw three types of boobies (Blue Footed Boobies, Red Footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies) as well as pelicans, owls, frigate birds, Galapagos doves and several other species of birds. The island has a gorgeous beach and was perfect for visiting with sea lions. The wildlife has not yet been threatened by humans so you’re able to get very close to the animals. We were even able to witness natural selection at work. A mother seal had abandoned her baby on the beach. Another mother seal barked at the crying pup while we sat nearby.Bartholomew Island and Santiago Island had volcanic landscapes with lizards, cactus and lava fields. Off of these islands, we snorkeled with penguins, white tip sharks, rays and hundreds of different colored starfish. On the other side of Santa Cruz Island was a mangrove ecosystem home to sea turtles, rays and sharks. We were lucky to witness two sea turtles getting their love on in the middle of the ocean! Dragon Hill, a colorful beach, had land iguanas, marine iguanas and more flamingos. There are only 500 flamingos in all of the Galapagos Islands so our guide was very happy to have seen eight on our trip. A trip to the Galapagos is not complete without seeing the land tortoises. Unfortunately, famous Lonesome George passed away just a few weeks ago. There was a posted placard in memory of George who was the last of his species. However, we were able to see other species of land tortoises that were just as large.
There were 15 passengers total (from the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands) and seven crew (all from Ecuador). We had our own cabin, private bathroom and although the quarters were small, it was clean and all we needed. We had three huge meals a day as well as snacks every time we came back on the boat from being on shore. It was all delicious and a nice change of pace to have well balanced meals prepared for us each day.
What an unforgettable trip! We have nearly 700 photos and more than 35 videos from our adventure so this is just a snapshot of what we were able to see in five days. A huge thank you to my dad, MJ, Aunt Aline and Uncle Steve for helping us with our Galapagos trip as part of our wedding and Christmas honeyfund. And thank you Aunt Betty and Aunt Pattie for the Galapagos snorkeling trip. It was one of the best snorkeling trips we’ve had!