Isabela Island: Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

Nov 14, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


After breakfast, we had a wet landing to explore Urbina bay, a visitor site at the belly of the seahorse-shaped island. Right at the beginning of the hike, we encountered a male giant tortoise walking in the middle of the path slowly making its way into the bushes. Further into the trail, we spotted a few species of Darwin finches and Galapagos mockingbirds looking for seeds under poison apple trees.

This trail goes along an uplifted terrine, where the bottom of the ocean rose above sea level. Several of the rocks on the side of the trail were covered with barnacles and shells that are usually found underwater. We even found a sand dollar about 200 meters off the coast into the island. We were lucky to spot several giant tortoises under the shade as well as large land iguanas building their nesting grounds and getting a bit territorial towards other iguanas in the area as the breeding season has begun.

After lunch, we navigated towards Tagus Cove. Here we went kayaking, snorkeling, Zodiac riding, and even hiking. During the kayak and Zodiac ride, one could spot several flightless cormorants perched on the coastline, Galapagos penguins getting ready to rest, and young brown pelicans.  Some of us that went on a hike could see a crater lake and an extraordinary landscape on the side of the uphill trail.

This was definitely another incredible day in the Galapagos. 

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About the Author

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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