This post is part of our Trip to Galapagos, with land visits and diving.
We spent our first 8 days in Galapagos on the Galaven which we boarded as soon as we landed in Baltra Island, north of Santa Cruz. Almost every day we had 2 land hikes and two snorkels, some of which were actually almost as good as dives when sea lions come to play with you, or seeing iguanas swim, boobies dive for fish, and more.
As soon as we arrived, we went for our first snorkel and land excursion: the first land excursion on the small island of North Seymour north of Baltra was arguably one of the best ones.
Day 1: Seymour Island
Their Seaguls look pretty
Seymour was a great island for blue footed boobies, and they even did their love dance for us, which apparently not everyone gets to see. We got lucky:
The blue footed boobies were awesome :)
A few cute sea lions
Frigate birds are nasty, but they look funny when the males
babies are fuzzy though :)
Even the doves look cool :)
Many marine iguanas too:
But the more impressives ones were the big fat land iguanasrescued from Baltra Island:
Day 2: Genovesa Island
On the second day, we went to Genovesa for 2 land hikes. It was also a very good island too:
more blue eyed doves
this juvenile was happy playing with its stick
Two more cool videos from there, boobies preening and a juvenile playing with a stick:
On the rocks, many birds, and owls that were hunting for food:
Found by the water:
For our snorkel, water was crappy, but we saw a few things and a sea lion came to play with us at the end:
bad picture of a hammerhead
During the afternoon, we hiked another portion of Genovesa:
Day 3: San Salvador Lava and Rabida Island
The 3rd morning, we started for a lava hike on San Salvador just across from Bartolome:
The snorkeling there was good:
Here's a video of a marine iguana swimming:
The afternoon, we went to Isla Rabida, nice red sand and beach. It looked a bit like Kawaii in the Hawaii Islands:
After that, we went for a quick Snorkel:
Day 4: Port Ayora/Santa Cruz/Charles Darwin Research Station
On the 4th day, we went to Puerto Ayora to pick up new passengers and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.
They have the famous Lonesome George, the last of its kind:
Unfortuntely, the poor thing died 2 days after we got home, so its race is now gone from the planet.
As well as other tortoises:
The afternoon, we went to El Garrapatero Beach:
The cacti grow really high up there because of drought, all animals try to eat them to get the water out of them, so as a defence, the cacacti grow even higher
baby marine iguanas
Puerto Ayora is a nice little town:
Day 5: North Santa Cruz: Dragon Hill and Bachas
The next day, we cruised around Santa Cruz to the north side to see Dragon Hill and Bachas. I spotted some dolphins from the dingy:
Dragon Hill was a nice little hike:
the cacti have hairy thorns to protect themselves from climbing tortoises trying to suck up the juice from them.
many crabs on each rock
The next land hike was on Bachas, also in North Santa Cruz:
ghost crabs clean the beach sand
We also finally got lucky and saw some flamingos:
The snorkels were also decent:
Day 6: Floreana
The 6th day, we went to the old island of Floreana. It has one of the oldest mailboxes in the area. People on passing ships would put mail and would look for other envelopes that were already there, and see if they could help deliver some of them. In that tradition, this is what we did too :)
On the way there, we got a dingy ride to see sea lions and birds. Some were quite happy to see us and would come to our dingy.
playful biting even
We then went to the historical mailbox and lava tube. The mailbox is cool: you put your mail and look at other people's mail and take some of it home and try to get it delivered for them:
There was also a nearby lava tube:
The snorkel from there was great. Sea Lions came to play with us, and we saw several turtles too:
During snorkeling, sea lions came to play with us, and we saw some turtles feeding:
In the afternoon, we went hiking and snorkeling by Sting Ray City:
During snorkeling, we saw scorpionfish:
Day 7: Espanola
On the 7th day, last but not least, we got to see Espanola, the most popular island in Galapagos:
they had piles of iguanas
did I mention piles of iguanas?
you're so cute :)
Espanola won on the amount of birds, especially Albatros that can't be found anywhere else:
Those lovely masked boobies kill their brothers to get all the food
They also had a blow hole:
The afternoon we went to Gardener Bay:
puppy was happy to see me
The snorkel wasn't bad:
Day 8: San Cristobal
The last day, we arrived at San Cristobal, the end of our trip. In the morning, we went to see the interpretation center, which has nice trails we used the next day when we came back on our own time.
The afternoon, we went to a tortoise habitat:
And that was it for our Galaven trip. After that, we stayed in St Cristobal 2 more days, waiting for our next boat, the Aggressor, to go diving.
Galaven itself was a good enough boat to get around, we had a good itinerary with them (i.e. got to see the better Islands), and the guides were good, so good times were had. We definitely got to see (even under water) many things we wouldn't have seen on a diving boat. It was well worth the trip.