We visited the Galapagos, and it was a dream come true.
After some crazy flying and having an overnight layover in Bogota (ran to nearby hotel and slept for 5 hours after horrendous immigration queue), we finally made it to the Galapagos. It was incredible.
Just arriving, we saw tons of iguanas hanging around the airport. What a great start!
To be clear, it’s not cheap, and that’s the main reason we didn’t stay longer. We stayed at the cheapest Airbnb possible and ate 2 or 3 meals “at home” every day to save money.
However, any time you enter a space that’s a national park, you pay $10 each. And you pay just to fly to the islands (in addition to the plane ticket). And you pay mightily for the ride from the airport to the city.
And it was the most expensive scuba diving I’ve ever done.
That being said, it was amazing.
Our first day, we went to the Charles Darwin Research Station. This includes a turtle breeding project that takes all turtle eggs from all the islands, hatches them here, and monitors their progress before releasing them back to their original island. There are a ton of variants and different species of these giant tortoises–I had no idea.
Going into the research station, we entered a national park area and learned about the world’s only swimming iguanas. These are totally different animals than the “land iguanas” on the islands.
We also saw this seal swimming around.
From here, we entered the turtle area.
Leaving the research station, we checked out this little artsy alleyway.
Walking around, we were really surprised and impressed by the fact the animals just hang around and lay wherever they want. No one bugs them, and there are stiff penalties if you injure the animals.
The next day, we went diving. The goal was to see hammerheads, and we asked around at multiple shops to see where they were diving that day / chances of seeing hammerheads. We went with the shop that seemed laid back, young, cool, and going to a spot where they see hammerheads often.
We saw hammerheads right at the very end of our last dive. In fact, we were on our way up to the surface when the guide dove down super fast. We followed him, and he’d seen a pair of hammerheads. Amazing.
Here are a bunch of videos from our dives.
We also took a day trip to another island. If we’d known how long the boat ride took, we would’ve taken this half-day tour we opted against, thinking it wasn’t enough time. It would’ve been the same amount of time we spent on the other island, given that the boat ride to get there was 3 hours each way.
However, we walked off the beach and into the water for some snorkeling & saw seals + a turtle + penguins.
And this seal with her baby nearby was very talkative!
Waiting for the boat back to the main island, we saw a bunch of little penguins swimming around. We also saw a lot of Blue-Footed Boobies, which can only be found in the Galapagos. Flying, they look like seagulls, but they have blue feet. Of course no pictures of them from my phone turned out well. But I got the penguins!
The last day, we tried to go snorkeling at a spot near our homestay. We didn’t see much, and the sand/rocks to get to the water were not friendly to our feet.
However, we did see a bunch of swimming iguanas, which are awesome. Plus this seal rolling around at the edge of the water.
Going to the Galapagos and diving and seeing all of the animals…it was a dream come true for both of us. I wish we could’ve stayed longer, but our wallets and the ridiculously horrible internet that prevented me from working while there interfered with our nature loving.
Off to Quito!This entry was posted in Ecuador, Galapagos, South America