Isabela Island

Dec 27, 2017 - National Geographic Islander


Just after dawn the National Geographic Islander set her anchor in Urbina Bay, off the west coast of Isabela Island between Alcedo and Darwin Volcanos. Subterranean volcanic activity in the early 1950’s resulted in the up-lift of 1.5 km along a five-mile length of coastline. What used to be the sandy bottom of a shallow bay is now the home to the endemic Galapagos land iguana that has found the terrane perfect for digging burrows – both for nocturnal protection against the cold, and females for laying eggs during the season.

The afternoon kept up a high pace of activity – Global Explorer “Fashion A Fish” workshop, kayaking, stand-up-paddleboarding, snorkelling, Zodiac riding, hiking…what didn’t take place? This was our last day in the western region of the Galapagos province – last chance to see flightless cormorants, and probably our last chance to see the Galapagos penguins, whose largest population is over here where the water remains cooler throughout the year. Snorkeling was spectacular!


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About the Author

Cindy Manning

Expedition Leader

Born in Lima, Peru, of North American parents, Cindy and her family subsequently lived in several South American and European countries with a couple stops in Peoria, Illinois. Cindy received a degree in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Afterwards, Cindy spent a year and a half teaching science in the Western Province of Kenya, East Africa. 

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