Isabela Island

Aug 06, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today was our last day on the western realm of the Galápagos Archipelago, and once again it brought many surprises and beautiful memories. We spent all day on the biggest island, Isabela, which makes up 58 percent of the total land mass of the Galápagos.

Five volcanoes that joined at their bases formed Isabela Island. One of these volcanoes is the Alcedo Volcano and this is where we spent our morning, hiking at the base and observing land iguanas and Alcedo tortoises.

After a delicious Ecuadorian lunch, Captain Eduardo Neira repositioned National Geographic Endeavour II to Tagus Cove. Sailors have commonly visited this cove for years, where they came to seek shelter and food. Today is a must-see visitor site, which we explored by water by snorkeling and with our kayaks, paddle boards, and Zodiacs. Our last day in this magical western realm ended with a sunset hike to the top of Darwin Lake and beautiful family memories.

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About the Author

Gianna Haro


Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

About the Photographer

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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