Isabela

Jan 08, 2020 - National Geographic Islander


We started our day with a wet landing along a black sandy beach where turtles come to lay eggs most of the year. Dense vegetation behind the beach offers multiple niches for various animals like land birds and reptiles. Two of the most relevant reptiles, land iguanas and Alcedo giant tortoises, make this their home. Spotting these creatures is relatively easy for photographers as their size and appearance are unmistakable.

Further north on Isabela we found anchorage at Tagus cove, an area well known by early visitors and navigators for its tranquil bay and the possibility of tortoise hunting, as well as finding goats on higher ground. The geology here is remarkable – ash cones carved naturally over time by the action of waves and wind, along with the flora and fauna make this an outstanding location. The area is also well marked with graffiti from visitors of the day, serving as a manmade timestamp. While here, we had ample opportunity for activities like kayaking, snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac rides. Guests enjoyed them all and observed penguins, cormorants, sea lions, and a great number of turtles!

The day ended with us very happy for having had such special sightings of Galapagos wildlife and geology.

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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.

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