Isabela Island

Jan 23, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

We are navigating around Bolivar Channel. Here we have Fernandina Island on the west and Isabela Island on the east our destination is Urbina Bay at the foot of Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island. This island is the largest of the Galápagos. It is larger than the rest of the islands put together! And it is home to large land iguanas and giant tortoises.

This western region is home to thousands of pacific green sea turtles and this beach is one of their nesting sites. This population of turtles happens to be the healthiest and largest of the Pacific Ocean. Some of these turtles spend their lives in these cool waters in the western Galápagos. Some others make long journeys to South America, the open ocean west of the Galapagos and Central America.

Our first sightings were flocks of Darwin’s finches feeding on the ground and others feeding on berries from the thorn bushes. This place, Volcán Alcedo is home to a large colony of yellow land iguanas. We spotted many iguanas guarding their burrows by the trail. Some of them were still resting and basking in the morning sun.

In the afternoon we anchored in an entirely different place. It has the scenic view of volcanoes and the dry forest. This place is Tagus Cove. High cliffs with layers of volcanic ash and Palo Santo trees make up this unique landscape. Here, sea birds nest and perch all year round. There were several activities for all of us. Some of us went kayaking and paddle boarding, others explored the snorkeling site. There were many surprises in this place. We spotted penguins, sea turtles, flightless cormorants, great blue herons and blue footed boobies.

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About the Author

Walter Perez

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Walter was born in a very small town on the mainland of Ecuador. His first trip to the Galápagos was when he was 12 years old, visiting friends and aunt, who had moved to the islands. From the first moment he saw the Islands, he fell in love with them and knew then where his future home would be.

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