Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove, Isabela Island

May 17, 2017 - National Geographic Islander

On our way to the landing we were intercepted by a pod of Bottle-nosed dolphins, which, common of them, allowed us to enjoy them closely from our Zodiacs.

We visited Urbina Bay in the morning. On June 4, 1954, an earthquake of 6.5 on the Richter scale occurred near this location. This strong event provoked an uplifting in a huge area adjacent to the Bay’s coastline, leaving many marine creatures high and dry. In a period of just a few days the whole scenery changed. In this area there is a healthy population of Galapagos land iguanas and many native and endemic flowers. We even saw several Galapagos giant tortoises!

Darwin’s finches, mockingbirds, warblers and other birds were encountered as we walked along a narrow trail of sand with sides nicely decorated with plants of different sorts. Flowers were still in bloom and visited by innumerable insects in search of food in exchange for pollinating them.

The National Geographic Islander left Urbina Bay and reached Tagus Cove where more activities awaited.

Some kayakers and paddle board riders got ready to explore the bay charged with first class wildlife; Cormorants, pelicans, sea lions, crabs, turtles, and more crossed our paths for us to enjoy and photograph.

Others decided to explore beneath the water’s surface to see a multitude of diverse life. We saw all shapes, colors and classes. Penguins, fish, rays, sharks, sea stars, and even penguins and cormorants came our way to check us out and entertain us. They were so close, as if we weren’t there. Turtles ate and swam so relaxed as if they were the only ones there, so beautiful, so unique, so special.

Later we departed to explore the area on foot or by Zodiac. Up the hill we walked along a trail with some classic dry soil growth on the sides and all around we viewed a hyper saline lake whose color is just outstanding to the viewer’s eye. The Zodiacs took people to explore the cliffs where wildlife abounded.

It was another full and exciting day in the Galapagos.

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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.

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