Our first day in the Galapagos began bright and early. We spent all day the day before traveling and did a quick evening tour of Quito, Ecuador before waking up at 5 a.m. and heading to the airport.
We touched down on Baltra Island in the Galapagos around 10 a.m. My family and I met up with with a small tour group and a guide to catch a dinghy ride out to the boat that we stayed on for the duration of our time in the Galapagos.
Within five minutes of our arrival on Baltra, we saw a sea lion, bright red crabs and the famous marine iguana. Too cool!
When traveling to the Galapagos, many visitors elect to stay on a boat with other people in an effort to see and experience more. (This is what our travel agent, Samay Adventures, strongly recommended.) By staying on a boat, visitors don’t have to sail to and from a hotel on land and spend hours every morning simply traveling to a new island.
Our ship held 16 people and we enjoyed eating meals together and exploring the islands as a small group. For the most part the boat was steady, but we did feel some intense waves as we tried to sleep during two of the three nights. Thank goodness I had a seasick patch stuck behind my ear. I’m convinced that it saved me on multiple occasions.
Once we were on board, we checked out our rooms before throwing on our bathing suits and sun screen and heading to the upper deck to relax before lunch.
After lunch on the boat, we spent the afternoon on a dinghy exploring Black Turtle Cove.
Our guide, Williams, promised us that we’d see lots of wildlife, including sea turtles, and he kept his promise!
The blue footed booby is probably the most famous bird of the Galapagos and we couldn’t get over the pale blue color of its feet.
(If you’re anything like me and find yourself wondering why in the world these blue footed birds are called boobies, the name is derived from the Spanish word bobo, meaning foolish or clown.)
Watching the blue footed booby fish was incredibly entertaining. The birds would fly high into the air, dive straight down to catch a fish and then pop up with serious force. It was so cool! (And this is coming from someone who generally finds birds not-so-entertaining.)
During our dinghy tour of Black Turtle Cove, we saw a ton of sea turtles, rays, white-tipped reef sharks, fish and birds.
Perhaps one of the coolest things about the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands is that many of the animals are curious and allow people to snap photos and get relatively close without darting away. Since the islands are seriously regulated, the animals are protected and humans cannot hunt, so they aren’t very fearful. (Of course our guide told us we could not touch them, get too close or take pictures using a flash.)
Day one in the Galapagos was filled with awesome animal sightings but the next two days were even better! (Hint: Sea lions!!!)
I’ll see ya soon with another Galapagos Islands recap, but now I’m off to dinner with my family in Quito for the last night of our vacation!
Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!