Isabela Island

Feb 07, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


In the wee hours of the morning we navigated across the Bolivar Channel which separates the westernmost island of Fernandina from the largest, seahorse-shaped island of Isabela and dropped anchor just as the sun was rising. The day dawned clear and hot, the ocean was mirror calm and we could see the pelicans and turtles resting on the smooth water as we headed to breakfast. We had two hike options in the morning and then a chance to swim from a steep black sand beach. Almost everyone saw many Darwin finches, the large brilliant yellow land iguanas, and several small tortoises on the morning hikes.

In the afternoon, while we had lunch and a short siesta, the Captain navigated north and we anchored in Tagus Cove. We went kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, hiking and/or for a Zodiac cruise along the coast. For those who took part in the water activities we enjoyed calm conditions, chilly water temps and lots of wildlife: penguins, flightless cormorants, sea lions, and marine iguanas. The hikers had a brisk walk up to a ridge, around a crater lake to where they had splendid views in all directions of the barren lava flows on the slopes of Darwin Volcano and the National Geographic Islander anchored far below. 

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About the Author

Lynn Fowler

Expedition Leader

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of seven children, Lynn grew up in various university towns where her father was a professor of physics. Lynn obtained her B.A. in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, followed by a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida, which encompassed a study of marine turtles in Costa Rica. She arrived in Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for the Galápagos National Park.

About the Photographer

Jonathan Aguas

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jonathan was born into one of only a handful of families that reaches back five generations in Galápagos, in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. He first left the islands when he won a highly-coveted scholarship to finish his studies in the U.S.  This was the start of his life-long passion for science and languages.

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