We flew into Isla Baltra and met up with our two local tour guides. The majority of the income in the Galapagos Islands is from tourism, so it’s required to hire local guides when on the islands. Our two guides stayed with us for the first 3 days and were very knowledgeable about the islands, plants, and wildlife that we saw. We took a public bus to a small dock and hopped on a short 10 minute boat ride to Isla Santa Cruz. This was my first sighting of such beautiful water and I was already getting excited for the rest of the week!
Our first stop on Isla Santa Cruz was to check out the lava tunnels. I’ve never even heard of lava tunnels, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Basically, when the volcano erupts, the tunnel is formed as the lava flows towards the water. I’m glad it didn’t erupt while I was inside!
Here are two pictures, one from the entrance of the tunnel and one from inside.
Our next stop was to see some giant tortoises! I was beyond excited!!! We got to the place and put rubber boots on to protect our shoes from the potential mud. We were told if our shoes were muddy when we went to get on the boat later that day, they’d make us wash them off in the water. In lieu of having wet shoes, I opted for the rubber boots. We then set out to search for tortoises as they roam free in the area.
We even got to try on the tortoise shells ourselves! The guide wanted me to try and do a push up with the shell on, but I was too weak, haha.
We then headed to Puerto Ayora, which is the main town and port where all the boats from the different islands dock. We had some free time for lunch and then got ready to head to Isla Isabela.
Our bags were searched at the entrance to the dock and they zip-tied each one shut. This was one of the many precautions Ecuador took to keep the Galapagos Islands beautiful and limit the impact of humans on it. A boat taxi picked up half our group and took us to the boat we’d be riding for 1.5-2.5 hours depending on sea conditions. Of course, our ride took 2.75 hours and I was sick the WHOLE time!
When we made it to Isla Isabela, we found out the storm we just rode through was so bad, it destroyed the restaurant we were going to go to along the beach that night. They cancelled all marine activities for the next day while things settled down. I’m glad I survived the boat ride, but it was rough!
I went to bed early since I wasn’t feeling well and woke up the next morning ready to hike a volcano!
Here’s a short video I made with the different clips I took during the day!