Gettin' our nature on- Guide to Galapagos Round 2
Posted on November 19 2017
Here we go, ding ding ding! Round 2 folks. It's impossible to cover such an amazing place in one blog... so here's the second one.
One may think that the Galapagos is the most bio diverse places in the world. I wouldn't say that's true. There are about 15 ("the BIG 15") species of animals you will see in the Galapagos. The important thing to understand is that the islands are home to some of the highest levels of endemism (species found nowhere else on earth) anywhere on the planet. About 80% of the land birds you will see, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic.
I think this is amazing, because you literally can't see these animals anywhere else in the world. It's like an exclusive club, and makes you feel really busy and important, like you're in a gang of secret explorers.
Here are some shots of these incredible animals.
This one is my favorite species. It's a red breasted Ryan...
Incredible specimen, isn't he?
The most adorable sea lion laying on a bench waiting for the ferry.
He made a friend! The sea lions on Santa Cruz island.
These guys were the coolest- absolutely huge prehistoric looking tortoises!
These land iguanas just came out of nowhere, you kind of have to watch where you walk in the Galapagos. Likely an iguana underfoot everywhere you go.
The eeriest part of the wildlife there were the sharks. When we were there (this is not a normal occurrence) but there were about 100 sharks swimming along side and in back of our ship. Every night, we would head out the the deck after dinner, and you could hear them, their fins skimming the top of the water. They and the sea lions would tag team trying to catch as many fish as possible.
Our favorite incredible morbid activity was seeing the flying fish skimming across the top of the water, then all of a sudden they would run smack dab into the ship, obviously fall to their death unfortunately and the sharks and sea lions would swarm and race to the snack. It was crazy to see so many sharks in one pace.
Snorkeling is some of the best in the world. It's not because there are incredible reefs, although there are some- but it's because you can get up close and personal to all the animals. I highly recommend a full face snorkeling mask if you're going to do it, because your mouth doesn't get all soggy and salty snorkeling all day.
There are so many cool little places to explore. One of my favorite memories was breaking off from the group and swimming into this little estuary super shallow area that literally looked like a fish tank. We just kept going back and back into it with it's pure white sandy bottom, little crevices, and intrigued animals, all the while holding hands. I will never forget that.
It is a magical place to go with a partner, to see this place many people never get to see in their lifetime- experiencing the sights, smells, sounds of this last frontier together was incredible.
We had some fun on one of the "3 hour tours" and brought Gilligan and Mary Ann outfits. It's ok if we're the only ones that got it.
Here are the islands that we went to:
Santa Cruz (only one with people that we went besides flying into Baltra)
One of the coolest parts of the Galapagos is Post Office Bay on the island of Floreana. Not only was is the site of the famous Galapagos Affair, but there is the neatest little tradition there.