Apr 19, 2017 - National Geographic Islander

Isabela Island is made up of five and a half volcanos with most of them still active. In the morning we set out for a hike at a place called Urbina Bay. Black sand where sea turtles nest is our landing place. We put our shoes on and we were ready to follow a loop trail heading inland and along the shore. 

The trail of Urbina is lush green which makes a good place for many different species of land birds like finches, mockingbirds and others in addition to all the sea birds that also frequent the area like pelicans and boobies, etc.

At this time of the year it is common to encounter the large Giant tortoises from Alcedo Volcano that migrate down the hill to lay eggs while the males migrate to find mates because the rains increase vegetation in the area.

Some resident reptiles are the lava lizards and the large and beautiful land iguanas. Here the iguanas live and nest year round.

A long hike covers an area with coral high left high and dry by uplifting during some intense volcanic activity in 1954. Since then the area that was once was the bottom of ocean has adapted and now has vegetation. Later we take a nice refreshing dip in the water, which completes the morning.

The afternoon finds us at the hill of Tagus cove where we set off for different activities, like kayaking, snorkeling, Zodiac rides and more to appreciate the beauty of everything the Island offers.

Sea birds like cormorants and penguins, as well as turtles are all common sights around here.

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About the Author

Patricio Maldonado

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Patricio, better known as Pato amongst his friends, was born in the Galápagos Island. His family moved to the islands from the mainland and settled on the island of Santa Cruz over thirty-five years ago. Pato had an enchanted childhood in the islands, where his keen interest in the wildlife of the Galápagos was born initially through catching lizards and observing how they lost their tails. His experiences in the islands have led him to teach visitors about the need to protect this rare and unique environment.

About the Videographer

Julio Rodriguez

Video Chronicler

Born and raised in Ecuador, the son of Spanish and American parents, Julio developed a passion for storytelling and conservation at an early age. After majoring in history at Carleton College in Minnesota, and completing a thesis on the Basque anti-Franco movement, he taught English in Spain and made short promotional films for an energy efficiency company in India and two environmental conservation NGOs in Greece and Galápagos. These experiences gave him some amazing travel opportunities and strengthened his resolve to support environmental protection.

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