Galápagos Islands: Part 3

Day 6 Wednesday: Isabela

On Day 6 we made two visits to Isabela: Punta Morena in the morning and Urbina Bay in the afternoon.

Wikipedia has this to say:

 Isabela (Albemarle) Island (Ecuador) – This island was named in honor of Queen Isabela. With an area of 4,640 square km (1,792 sq mi), it is the largest island of the Galápagos. Its highest point is Volcán Wolf, with an altitude of 1,707 m (5,600 ft). The island’s seahorse shape is the product of the merging of six large volcanoes into a single land mass. On this island, Galápagos penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, pelicans and Sally Lightfoot crabs abound. At the skirts and calderas of the volcanoes of Isabela, land iguanas and Galápagos tortoises can be observed, as well as Darwin finches, Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves and very interesting lowland vegetation. The third-largest human settlement of the archipelago, Puerto Villamil, is located at the southeastern tip of the island. It is the only island to have the equator run across it. It is also the only place in the world where a penguin can be in its natural habitat in the Northern Hemisphere.

We had some luck on the Zodiac ride as whales were spotted. We detoured for a while hoping for a sighting, but the end all we managed was some glimpses of the back of a tropical whale—that’s what the naturalist said it was.

The lava rock is still exposed in many places as Isabela is one of the youngest islands in the archipelago; so walking is quite rough and tripping over would result in some nasty scrapes, if nothing else. We saw our first tortoise in the wild, land iguanas and a small lagoon created by the falling tide that had trapped a sea turtle, white-tipped shark, and a small shoal of puffer fish among other things.

Pictures are here.

During the evening, Xpedition cruised north along the west coast of Isabela, across the tip and southwards down the east coast; so we crossed the Equator twice. We have certificates somewhere.

Galápagos Part 1  Galápagos Part 2

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