I have one last Galapagos Island post in me before I move onto other stories about Ecuador. With everything that we saw there on just a 5 day trip, I could go on forever. So if you haven’t put the Galapagos Islands on your bucket list yet, then do so now. I couldn’t recommend visiting enough. I’ll finish this up with some visits to the Isabela and Rabida Islands.
As mentioned in the last post, Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos. We visited the city of Puerto Villamil to take some time on the beach, see the city and try a special local drink. The city and beach were covered with wildlife. Sea lions and Iguanas were everywhere. In fact, most of the park benches were taken up by sea lions taking a nap. They are friendly animals, but don’t try sitting next to them. People that tried were greeted with a loud bark warning them to get off. In addition to hanging out with the animals, our group had another goal in mind for Puerto Villamil: sample the local specialty Coca Loca. This drink is simple but delicious. You’ll have a whole coconut cut freshly right in front of you. Then once a hole is created, your bartender will add a couple shots of rum. Voila, the coca loca.
Our next stop in Isabela was a visit to a wildlife area known to have the Galapagos Flamingo. While common in the area, seeing a flamingo is never a guarantee. It was our lucky day though, and several of the majestic birds were around the area grabbing lunch. Our guide let us know that the flamingos have an interesting characteristic in common with the Blue Footed Booby. The bright pink coloring of the Flamingo is an indicator of the bird’s health, so a bright flamingo is a healthy flamingo. The Booby’s blue feet has the same tell. If you’re into bird watching, this would have been a great place to visit as several other birds also visited the area.
After the flamingo pond, our boat took us to small but beautiful Rabida island. This island is unique because of its dark deep red color in the sand which comes from the volcanic material found on the island. Finches and flamingos were aplenty in this area. The largest iguana that we saw during the whole trip was also here. It was also interesting to see how differently the Cacti grew in this area than they did on other islands. Normally the cacti trees were much higher, but here they were lower. Just another example of evolution.
Speaking of evolution, I had a question I wanted to ask our guide Milton. The theory of evolution is widely accepted. However, I had to ask if Milton ever had a guest who did not believe in evolution. Surely someone booked a trip to the Galapagos, but maybe didn’t research that Darwin fella. Milton let me know that this was rare, but he has had a couple of people tell him that evolution wasn’t true. As the professional he is, he would politely tell the doubters that “It is just a theory heavily linked with the islands, and you can believe whatever you want to.” Special shout out once again to Milton, a great guide with plenty of patience for creationists and even greater patience for bad dad jokes.
Our last day was spent with a ride on the dingy boats through a mangrove forest. The area was filled with small black tip sharks, rays and we even saw the rare site of turtles mating (No pictures below for their privacy…and because iPhones cant take underwater photos). As we were heading back to our boat to pack up and head home, we saw a small fin breaching the water. As we neared it, Milton exclaimed that it was his favorite animal, the hammerhead shark. This one was just a baby; I’d never thought I’d described a shark as cute but this one fit the bill.
That wraps up our time to the Galapagos Islands. If you want to know any other specifics, feel free to reach out to me and I’m happy to offer information and advice about planning a trip. Thanks for reading. #VidaLaVic