Monday, April 2, 2012


Baby Sea Lion

 For the second leg of our trip Mike and I went on a boat tour in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.  They are absolutely amazing!  The 4 days we spent there were not nearly enough and I will definitely head back there one day!

Circle of Life

On Sunday, March 25 with met up with our group from G Adventures and headed to the airport for our flight to the Galapagos.  We arrived on San Cristobal Island at 10:30 am where we were picked up by our guide, Hanzel and transported to the closest dock 5 min. away.

  The adventure started right away as we had to step over the sea lions that were sleeping on the dock and climb into a zodiak to be transferred to our boat, the G4.Once we arrived at the boat we met the rest of the group (7 people were already on the boat when we arrived) and were assigned our room. We lucked out with an upper deck berth which was awesome we had great views and were further away from the engine noise.  One we settled in we had some lunch in the dining area of the boat headed out for our first excursion. 

San Cristobal

The first excursion was to Isla Lobo which is covered in Sea Lions. We went ashore and were instantly greeted by 5 baby sealions basking in the sun. After a short walk across the island we saw millions of brilliantly coloured red and black crabs on the jet black rocks, lots and lots of sea lions and black Marine Iguanas, which live on land but eat in the ocean.  We also encountered our first set of blue footed boobies; they are crazy looking birds! It was such a cool experience to get within a few feet of all these animals and have them not care at all. 

Eagle Ray
After our walk we went for our first snorkel trip. We took the zodiaks to the rocks around Isla Lobo and jumped in. The water was so warm and clear, around 25c.  We got to swim with a whole group of sea lion pups. They were crazy, swimming all around us and biting and pulling on our flippers. There were even a couple of the pups playing with a stick; so cute! We also saw tonnes of multi coloured tropical fish and a sea turtle that swam right under us. It was awesome! We ended the night with drinks and dinner on the boat and watching the sun set from the boat deck loungers.  

Male Frigate Bird

On Monday, March 26 we started the day with a quick breakfast and a zodiac ride out to North Seymour Island. North Seymour was covered in birds, we saw lots of Blue Footed Boobies and Frigate birds of all ages from babies in the nests to the mature adults with their red chest pouches inflated. After our hike we went for a snorkel and this time we saw a white tip shark and eagle ray along with fish and more sea lions.

Isla Lobos Sea Lions
After our snorkel we headed back to the boat for lunch and while we were relaxing on the deck we saw some huge Galapagos sharks in the water. So cool! After lunch we headed to Mosquera Island, which was quite small but covered in beautiful white sand beaches and hundreds of sea lions. This time we saw a huge 500lb male bull sea lion. He was massive; no messing with him!

Land Iguana
That night after dinner the crew put a spot light on the water off the back of the boat; it was the coolest things I’ve ever seen. We spent about an hour watching the light attract fish and then sea lions who were eating the fish (including the really cool pencil fish) and then 6 sharks showed up and continuously circled around chasing the flying fish. It was so awesome!

Blue footed Boobies
On Tuesday March 27 we spent the morning on Isla Santiago where we hiked along a huge lava flow. The black lave stretched on forever until we reached the hills where it turned into bright red lava due to the iron in the soil. We discovered a lava tube along the way and made Mike crawl inside for some photos.

Zodiak fun

After the hike we took the zodiaks and hunted out some Galapagos Penguins to  take photos of and promptly after that we went for another snorkel, this time with penguins, sea turtles, sharks, sea lions and lots of fish and sea cucumbers.  After lunch we hiked to the top of a volcano for great views of the surrounding ocean and islands.

Lava Tubes

Group shot; Volcano Hike
 On our last day we said goodbye to the part of group that was staying and headed to Santa Cruz Island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Facility. At the Facility we got to see the Giant Galapagos Tortoise breading program. We saw eggs, little baby tortoises and giant 120 year old Tortoises. We even say Lonesome George who is the last of his tortoise sub-species.  After the tour we headed to the airport for our trek back to Quito, Ecuador where we enjoyed one last Ecuadorian dinner before jetting down to Peru in the morning!

Click Here for Galapagos Pics

Giant Tortoise

Baby Giant Tortoise

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