The Grandest of Galapagos

Apr 02, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Named after Queen Isabella of Spain, this island in all Galapagos, and one of the archipelago’s most volcanically active. We landed on the black sands of Urbina Bay, where turtles come ashore to lay and bury their eggs. This area is vast and heavily vegetated due to the nutrient rich volcanic soil that provides for a whole host of wildlife which call this island home.

The flightless birds here don’t need to go far, for the place is rich in food and shelter year-round. Giant tortoises and iguanas alike can be found inhabiting these lands in great numbers. The last stop of today’s expedition on Isabella Island is the beach, where we swim, lounge, and observe the tropical penguins and sea turtles.

The afternoon is no less superb, with guests getting to choose between kayaks and paddleboards to glide along Galapagos coast for a big-picture vantage of this beauty. We return ashore to gear up for snorkeling in the company of penguins, turtles, fish, cormorants, and more.

Land lovers continue the expedition with an invigorating hike to view Darwin Lake while others take an extended Zodiac ride, to witness more of the exquisite coastal wildlife that enchants these islands.

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About the Author

Patricio Maldonado

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Patricio, better known as Pato amongst his friends, was born in the Galápagos Island. His family moved to the islands from the mainland and settled on the island of Santa Cruz over thirty-five years ago. Pato had an enchanted childhood in the islands, where his keen interest in the wildlife of the Galápagos was born initially through catching lizards and observing how they lost their tails. His experiences in the islands have led him to teach visitors about the need to protect this rare and unique environment.

About the Videographer

David Pickar

Video Chronicler

David Pickar is a native of Portland, Oregon. He studied anthropology at the University of Oregon, then spent several years working as a field archaeologist. Participating in excavations in countries like Jordan, Belize and Italy and in every corner of the US, allowed him to witness culture and the environment from an unusual perspective.

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