After landing at Isolote Tintoreras (near Isla Isabela); we were greeted by a marine iguana resting on the rock catching the first rays of the sun just after 6.30 am.
There were many marine iguanas clinging to the rocks and they varied in size from about 10 cm to over a metre including the length of their tail.
The National Park rules require a 2-metre distance from the wildlife. This can be challenging to follow when animals cross the path directly in front of you.
Sealions take every advantage they can, including using the shade created by the mangroves to have a rest.
Isla Isabela – Puerto Villamil
Low tide and the churning sands meant that the snorkelling off Puerto Villamil was disappointing. The large and small volcanic rocks and the waves that kept pushing us back onto shore.
I was lucky enough to see a pelican catch fish and diving blue-footed boobies.
The sea lions are very territorial and take over the benches by the beach. Some of them “hiss” at humans who get too close while others are quite happy to share their seat with one.
Arnoldo Tupiza Giant Tortoise is a breeding centre where they keep the giant tortoises by sub-species according to the island they come from and aim to replicate the conditions on their home island by varying the vegetation and amount of shade. To replicate the food availability in the wild, the tortoises are only fed every 4 – 5 days, this can lead to a feeding frenzy.
The slow lumbering gait of the giant tortoises across the courtyards was quite a sight, with their every move captured by the human paparazzi (including me).
By the boardwalk along Pozo Vilamail, we spotted the pink flamingos feeding in the shallows of the lagoon. Although flamingos are solitary animals, we spotted 4 of the 314 of the total population in the Galapagos.
We celebrated Christmas Eve, with a large turkey complete with an Ecuadorian twist with tree tomatoes.
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Travel date: 24 December 2018