Jul 11, 2018 - National Geographic Islander
Today we explored the central-south realm of Isabela Island. In the morning, we went to Urbina Bay, and in the afternoon, we went to Tagus Cove. We started this morning with a wet landing on a volcanic sandy beach; from there we started to walk. Some of our guests took a long hike, while others opted for a shorter walk.
As we landed, we noticed the presence of green sea turtle nests right on the shore. We also observed several sea turtles swimming in the bay. One of the highlights of this place were the numerous nests of brown pelicans. This was my first time seeing the nest there.
We walked through a thick forest of Galapagos cotton, yellow cordias, and palo santo trees; along the path, we were surprised to find several Galapagos giant tortoises. Most were large males, and while some were sleeping, a particularly friendly one was feeding on the yellow flowers of the cordia and Galapagos cotton. We sat down for a couple minutes and saw this tortoise enjoying a good meal of yellow flowers and fruits.
Later that morning when everyone ended the walk on the beach, some of our guests took a refreshing swim on the shore. The water in the bay was nice and warm. Around us, we had a thick fog that originated from the Sierra Negra’s volcanic eruption.
By lunchtime we moved towards Tagus Cove. We had different activities: some of our guests went for kayaking, snorkeling, and paddleboarding along the cliffs of the cove. This was a popular place for whalers that were looking for tortoises and fresh water. During the rainy season, one can find small quantities of fresh water in small creeks along the coast.
At the end of the afternoon, we had a great opportunity to go on a Zodiac ride along the coast. Here, we had a chance to see Galapagos penguins fishing, brown pelicans nesting, and many juvenile green sea turtles swimming.
We ended the day with a great sunset surrounded by gorgeous volcanoes.
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