Like most people I suppose, a visit to the Galapagos Islands was one of my biggest dream destinations for a very, very long time. So, when my best friend and I saw a trip advertised, for a more than an interesting price, we did not think twice and just went!
The islands group consists of 18 main islands, a few smaller ones and more than one hundred rocks and islets, smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With only 5 days on the islands, we, unfortunately, couldn’t visit them all and in the end, we visited two main islands and a few smaller islets.
The first island we visited was San Cristobal. I must admit that Ifound the island itself a bit more inhabited than I expected. The capital city of Galapagos province, which is beautifully named Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is certainly one of the smallest capital cities I have ever seen. With all the cute sea lions running around, as well as sun basking, at every corner of the street, it felt more like an outdoor zoo than anything else.
At San Cristobal, you can not only gaze at the cuteness of the sea lions, but there are several bird species like frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, finches as well, not even mentioning the many marine iguanas, who do nothing else but sunbath on the rocks of the many beaches of the island. Those iguanas are really something special, to be honest. The only time they seem to move is if you happen to come a bit too close, but still … they don’t see humans as a threat, this was something that made me only rejoice!
If you happen to get tired of all those animals, you can always go into the highlands of the island and visit the gigantic turtles, who happen to wander around in the dense jungle. Although they aren’t the fastest of the island, they sure know how to impress with their size.
From San Cristobal you can do many day trips to the closest islands. Although time was our greatest enemy so to speak, we still got the chance to visit the small islet of Los Lobos, where we were more than thrilled not only to see the infamous Sally Lightfoot Crab but that other funny bird as well … the blue-footed boobie. What can I say, they are just so special that it is hard not to sit at the same spot, for many, many hours? If it is not for the scorching heat of the sun, I wouldn’t have left the island. Without shelter, I suppose it is hard to survive and I guess that’s the reason why there are no houses on this small picturesque islet.
Santa Cruz, which was our second main island, is only a 2 hours boat ride away from San Cristobal and although the island is a bit greener than the first one we visited, they happen to have the same species who are flying, crawling or
wobbling around the area.
If you happen to have enough of wandering around the island, which I personally doubt, you can always visit the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Avora where you can find a turtle breeding centre. At this place, they try to maintain the different species of tortoises and reintroduce them back in their natural habitat.
Closely situated near Santa Cruz is the small islet of South Plaza or
“Plaza Sur” as it is called by the locals. On this small islet, you can find several plants and cacti, together with some land iguanas and loads of birds, which nest at the cliffs at the southern part of the island.
From what I heard from the locals during our visit, the islands we visited were not the most beautiful ones. If I have to speak truthfully, once you’ve been there, you are certain to return and that is just my next big challenge !… A girl can dream, can’t she!