Isabela: from Urbina Bay to Tagus Cove

Apr 03, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

We enjoyed our second day in the Western part of the Archipelago. In the morning, we disembarked at Urbina bay, located at the base of Alcedo Volcano. During the walks, our guests observed Galapagos mockingbirds and land iguanas, Darwin finches, as well as three Alcedo giant tortoises. Urbina Bay is ripe with life, and the thick vegetation does much, offering critical shelter and forage cover for a variety of wildlife. We arrive back at the black sand beach for a mid-morning swim before returning to National Geographic Islander for our next destination.

When we reached Tagus Cove, we had an assortment of activities to choose from, including snorkeling (great opportunities here) and kayaking along a cove known and frequented by whalers and pirates of the 1800s. Guests wanting a more inland experience of the area hiked to the rim of the tuff cone, while those wishing for a more sea-level vista opted for a spectacular Zodiac ride along the coast.

Adding to the stark and arid topography of the cove, a great deal of wildlife was spotted over the course of the day. A few of those included Galapagos Penguins, flightless cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, a Manta ray, Galapagos shearwaters, brown noddies, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as frigates. Quite a day we had out here among the enchanted islands!

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About the Author

Wilo Castaneda


Wilo was born and raised in the Galápagos Islands. From an early age, he was fascinated by outdoors activities, and excelled at basketball, cycling, swimming, and snorkeling. In 1999, he trained to become a Naturalist Guide for Galápagos National Park and in 2002, he trained to become a Diver’s Guide for the Galápagos Marine Reserve. He has since worked as a guide on board various ships, gaining an intimate knowledge of all the island’s most-visited sites. Wilo enjoys scuba diving with large schools of hammerhead and whale sharks all around the archipelago. 

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