Isabela Island, Urbina Bay, and Tagus Cove

Aug 22, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


We started our day at the foot of Alcedo Volcano, in a fantastic destination named Urbina Bay. It’s a basaltic beach full of surprises once you get inland. In 1954 approximately half a square mile was uplifted almost instantaneously by as much as 16 feet. Just imagine that! As we walked through this unique area we saw some evidence of this event which took place more than 50 years ago. We were also able to see marine creatures both in and out of the water.

My group had a somewhat challenging rocky walk of approximately two miles. Along the way, we spotted some huge and colorful land iguanas. This long walk also took us to an area where massive brain coral, notably dry and away from the beach, were uplifted. We also saw male and female giant tortoises from Alcedo Volcano. The males were immense, and the females were quite shy. These tortoises are the classic dome carapace giant tortoise and belong to areas with lush vegetation. To end the walk, we had a great swim on the beach.

During lunch, we navigated to Tagus Cove, another incredible destination where we had an amazing snorkel outing full of Pacific green sea turtles, marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, and tropical reef fish all around us. We ended the afternoon with a late walk to the rim of a tuff cone overlooking the horizon beyond and Darwin Lake.

Another fantastic day in this unique natural laboratory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands.

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About the Author

Andres Vergara

Andres Vergara

Naturalist

Andres was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. From a very young age, he spent his vacations in Playas on the coast of Ecuador where his grandparents ran a hotel. There he developed a keen interest for nature and the outdoors. He studied primary and secondary school in La Condamine, a French Institution.

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