Isabela Island: Urbina bay & Tagus Cove

Jun 26, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


We began our day by having a wet landing and exploring Urbina Bay. This site has an uplifted terrane, which rose above sea level in 1954. We traveled through a Palo Santo Forest and saw a few giant tortoises among its vegetation. As we continued our journey, one of these giant tortoises was found resting in the middle of our trail, while others cooled themselves under the shade of poison apple trees.

Urbina Bay is the natural habitat of the Galapagos land iguana, and several were seen resting on the side of the trail. These yellow dragons are found on six different islands in the Galapagos. After the amazing hike, we swam at the landing beach and spotted several Galapagos penguins swimming near us!

After lunch, we navigated towards Tagus Cove. There were great activities to be had both in and out of the water. Some guests went kayaking and deep-water snorkeling with Pacific green sea turtles. We saw flightless cormorants and a large variety of fish. Others chose to go hiking around a crater lake. Those who did were rewarded with an extraordinary view once they made it to the top.

Isabela is full of wonders and holds a large population of Galapagos penguins. This was our last day to enjoy these special creatures, so we went on a Zodiac ride along the coast to photograph them. As an added bonus we saw brown pelicans and flightless cormorants.

It was another extraordinary 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. He earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of Florida and later spent time in Europe, where he learned French. He is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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