Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove

Jan 07, 2020 - National Geographic Endeavour II

It is our second day in the west of the Galapagos Islands, where thanks to the Humboldt Current, we find unique endemic wildlife. We arrived on National Geographic Endeavour II to the West coast of Isabela Island. We had a wet landing for hiking at the base of the Alcedo Volcano on Urbina Bay. During our one-mile trip, we found Galapagos giant tortoises, yellow land iguanas, many species of Darwin finches, and more. We were walking in a very special place. In 1954, almost four miles of its coastal seabed were dramatically and suddenly uplifted about 15 feet, turning the ocean floor into dry land.

Some flightless cormorants and brown pelicans come to nest in this bay. The best part of the morning was the swim from the beach after the walk. At 11:00, our group of National Geographic Global Explorers headed out for their Zodiac driving lessons. What an adventure!

When everybody came back aboard, a special Ecuadorian buffet lunch was waiting for us. Delicious! Everybody enjoyed many options of Ecuadorian, food like fish in coconut sauce, whole-bake pork (hornado), hominy (mote-pillo).

In the afternoon, we headed out again, this time for kayaking, paddleboarding and snorkeling. We saw groups of penguins, flightless cormorants, marine turtles and schools of colorful fish. To finish our adventure, we landed at Tagus Cove, where we had an up-hill hike to the top rim of Darwin Lake. We found a landscape littered with volcanic cones where our guest enjoyed an iconic view of the archipelago. We returned aboard to continue learning about the Galapagos Islands with wonderful lectures. Tomorrow, the Galapagos Islands will be waiting with more adventures for our guests aboard National Geographic Endeavour II.

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About the Author

Karen Ascensio


Karen was born on the island of Santa Cruz, at the heart of the Galapagos Archipelago, and spent her entire childhood there, only leaving to go to university at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in the Andean capital of Ecuador. Here she got a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, concentrating mainly on the field of Applied Ecology. The first time she entered the sea she was just 3 months old and has been captivated by the ocean ever since. She is now a PADI dive instructor and works as both Naturalist Guide and Marine Reserve dive guide for the Galapagos National Park Service, all around the archipelago.

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