Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove, Isabela Island:

Mar 06, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


The majestic Alcedo Volcano gave our ship a proper induction to the area this morning as National Geographic Islander took us to Urbina Bay. This is easily one of the most telling places in Galapagos to see the tremendous tectonic force that has shaped the “Enchanted Islands” into what they are today.  In 1954, approximately 5 km of sea front was uplifted, with around 1.5 km2 of marine reef left out more than 10 feet above the sea level.

During our exploration on land, we enjoyed the company of the local fauna. After the hike, our youngest explorers had the great experience of learning how to drive a Zodiac; Ethan and Scout loved it and will never forget it.

In the afternoon, we navigated up north toward Tagus Cove, at the base of Darwin Volcano. In Tagus, we enjoyed some Kayaking, snorkeling, and a wonderful hike to admire Darwin’s Lake (a crater lake) before sunset. What a time! Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos Islands shared some real magic with us today!

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About the Author

Pablo Valladares

Naturalist

Pablo was born in Quito, capital of one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and has been captivated by nature for as long as he can remember.  His mother showed him his first giant tortoise when he was 5 years old and that image remained engraved in his mind.  At age 7, his father gave him a special gift:  a map of the Galapagos with drawings of penguins, sea lions, tortoises, pelicans and more.  Those images inspired him at an early age and led him to study Biology at Guayaquil University.  While at university, Pablo worked as a guide for Environmental Education Camps in the mountains of Ecuador.  Upon completing his degree, he travelled to Puerto Villamil, the small human settlement on Isabela Island to work as a volunteer with the Galapagos National Park Service’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center for 6 months. During his free time, he also got involved with the Environmental Education Program run by the Charles Darwin Foundation Ecological Club, where he helped run outdoors, nature-based activities with the local children.  This combination of a passion for nature and working with the young eventually led to a full-time job with the Isabela branch of the Charles Darwin Foundation, where he worked for 8 years in different programs supporting Galápagos Conservation. It was during this time that he first learned about Lindblad Expeditions, as he would bring kids from the local ecological clubs on board the National Geographic Islander to perform theatrical pieces about Galapagos conservation issues that they had prepared specifically!

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