Mar 04, 2020 - National Geographic Islander

Isabela is in the shape of a seahorse, and this morning we visited its imaginary belly. We had our first wildlife encounter with a giant tortoise – how exciting! Giant tortoises have come to symbolize the Galapagos, and of course, we owe our name to this beautiful creature. As we continued, we saw male land iguanas warming up just along the path. They do this in order to reenergize, but it’s also possible they were in search of food, or a female.

The afternoon presented itself with an array of activities like kayaking along the coast of Tagus Cove where there were ample opportunities to spot wildlife; penguins, turtles, cormorants and sea lions are common around here. Snorkeling offered guests the chance to swim amongst graceful sea turtles, flightless cormorants, penguins, playful sea lions and an endless number of other marine creatures. For an out of the water activity, Zodiacs allowed us to approach the landscape more closely and examine the wildlife of the area. Several seabirds were seen resting or hunting. Turtles popped up for a quick breath of air before diving down to the algae world, and sea lions were observed warming themselves on nearby rocks, or hunting fish in the rich waters below.

Such a close encounter with true wildlife makes this journey unforgettable. We shall see what tomorrow will bring.

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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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