Cruising the Galapagos Islands

Stunning.  Surreal.  Natural.  Beautiful.  It is hard to articulate the beauty of the Galapagos Islands, it is really a gem of a place like no other.  We took an 8 day cruise on a 16 passenger yacht around the northern Galapagos Islands.  This trip took us to 5 islands filled with all kinds of wildlife. We saw crabs, lobster, many birds (boobies, Darwin finches, frigate birds, and more), sea lions, sharks, dolphins, whales, huge land tortoises, sea turtles, marine iguanas and land iguanas.

For those of you cracking up – yep I said boobies.  Red footed, blue footed and nasca boobies, birds that take to the air. I am now officially a boobies man!

If you wish to see a photo slide show of our Galapagos trip, click here.

When we boarded the yacht, the first thing I noticed was a different type of bird flying overhead. It had a 6 foot wing span, crooked beak, and scissor tale — it was a frigate bird. I knew right then we were going to see many species of animals we had never seen before.

Frigate birds

We spent our first day at a nice beach surrounded with crabs and all kinds of birds and sea lions.  We snorkeled twice and took hikes.  We got to know the crew and other passengers on the boat.  Many were from Switzerland and we had one other American and a couple from Canada.  Great group of people — young travelers really enjoying themselves.  There was even a couple with a one year old girl — she was the sweetest little girl you could imagine.

Our first beach stop

Being on the yacht was really cool.  The cook was amazing, I don’t think we ever ate the same thing twice and the food was delicious.  Each day we had a full schedule, starting at 7 a.m. breakfast, followed by snorkling, hikes, and time to play cards and enjoy the other passengers.  We traveled to a new island each night so each morning when we woke up, we saw new and exciting surroundings — and the landscapes were awesome.

On day 2, we sailed to a crater style island and had some really great snorkeling. We saw lots of fish, sea lions, and a few sharks. We capped off the day with a beautiful sunset.

End of day 2

The next day of snorkeling brought us face to face with sea turtles and marine iguanas. I never knew iguanas could swim. Only on Galapagos — they use their tail to navigate the sea. They munch on the sea algae, just as the sea turtles do.

When snorkeling, I captured on video one of many sea turtles that we saw: click here to see the video.

Sea Turtle

Marine Iguana

We also saw the famous land tortoises. They are huge. Really big.  We even happened upon a sea turtle getting ready to lay eggs.  This is unusual for this time of year, the guide said he had never seen them do it before.  So it was pretty special.  It takes about 5 hours for them to dig a hole with their hind legs, lay the eggs, then cover them up with soil.  Very cool.

Land Tortoise

Land Tortoise laying eggs

During our trip, we saw beautiful landscapes everyday. We took over 1,000 pictures, these are just a few that don’t even do it justice.

Galapagos Landscapes

Galapagos Landscapes

Galapagos Landscapes

Galapagos Landscapes

Galapagos Landscapes

Galapagos Landscapes

Galapagos Landscapes

We saw lots of sea lions while in the Galapagos. They are very curious animals, they want to come up to you and play.

Check out this video of a cute sea lion we saw: click here to see the video.

Sea lions

Sea lions

Sea lions

Sea lions

On the last day of our trip, we came upon 2 alpha male sea lions fighting.  This is not seen very often.  I took a video of it: click here to view the video.

We loved the Galapagos so much, we have decided to stay another week and go to a couple of more islands. If you wish to see a photo slide show of our Galapagos trip, click here

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