Our last destination in the Galapagos was San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the archipelago. San Cristobal was the first island to be settled by humans due to the fact that it has the only freshwater lake to be found on any of the islands. This was the first island that Charles Darwin visited in 1835 and the place where the initial penal colony was placed by Ecuador in the 1880s. San Cristobal remains the provincial capital of the Galapagos today and holds its scant governmental infrastructure even though Santa Cruz has eclipsed it in population largely due to the nearby presence of the first major airport at Baltra. Air travel is by far the most convenient way to travel to the Galapagos so it's no surprise that the island near the main airport ended up with the largest population. San Cristobal served as the middle ground of the three main islands that we visited, not as developed for tourism as Santa Cruz but with significantly more businesses and tour groups than Isabela.
We had to make one more island crossing by ferry boat in order to travel from Santa Cruz over to San Cristobal. As we were carried out into the harbor of Puerto Ayora on one of the little water taxies, we were relieved to find that we would not be traveling on Gabi/Gaby for the third time. Instead we were on a boat named Arrecife which was a bit larger and significantly more comfortable. Arrecife had actual individual seats for each person as opposed to the rough benches on Gabi. There were even a few seats up on the top deck of the boat, which we considered taking before deciding that it might be worse up there. We picked out seats in the back row once again where we knew that the bouncing from the waves would be minimized and bid farewell to Santa Cruz with a last look backwards at the harbor.
Almost immediately after our ferry boat left Puerto Ayora behind, we started seeing another island off to the south as we headed eastward. This was Santa Fe island, a much smaller island which is uninhabited by humans. Santa Fe looked to be another place with an arid climate along the waterline and it was too small to have a cooler and wetter highland region in the interior. We were passing along the northern shore of Santa Fe which looked inhospitable to visitors with its steep cliffsides and rocky waterline. There's one location where tour companies will land tourists on the northeastern edge of the island at a place called Barrington Bay. Those tourist excursions are only for brief day trips, however, as there are no buildings of any kind to be found on Santa Fe. The only permanent residents of the island are the wildlife and this is supposed to be a great place to watch sea lions and various different types of birds.
It took a little over two hours to make the transit from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal. The helmsman of the Arrecife was much better at keeping down the turbulence from the waves as we made the sea crossing; while there were still plenty of large waves that the boat passed through, we didn't feel nearly as tumbled about this time around. Each time that we took a ferry boat we had a better experience than the previous trip. Liz once again ended up getting pretty wet but this time we had brought better rain gear knowing what was coming. Eventually we were able to see the thin line of land at the horizon which gradually resolved into the coastline of San Cristobal. We were arriving shortly before sunset at the harbor of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the main town on the island where nearly all of its residents live. The sun was low on the horizon and beginning to set behind the waves to our rear which made for a beautiful arrival on this island.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno was located at the southwestern tip of the island. There's essentially one main road on San Cristobal which runs across the southern part of the island through the highlands and then reaches the southern coast at a beach called Puerto Chino. Outside of this portion of the island, the rest of San Cristobal is uninhabited by people and given over to the natural wildlife. We had seen this same pattern repeatedly on Isabela and Santa Cruz as well, with almost everyone living in a single town along the coast with the rest of the island allowed to remain in its natural state. We would have a chance to travel along that main road to the beach at Puerto Chino as well as visit the most popular offshore tourist attraction at Kicker Rock.
Those tourist draws would have to wait until the next day, however. We were met at the docks by another individual from our tour company who drove us in a car to the hotel where we would be staying on San Cristobal. This was a place named the Pimampiro Hotel and it proved to be a delightful place to stay for three nights. The hotel consisted of a small enclosed courtyard containing about a dozen rooms and the woman who ran the hotel couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. We were in Room #2 which had a small seating area along with two beds for some reason. The eating area where we had breakfast each morning looked a bit like an Applebees with lots of crazy stuff on the walls. Unlike our previous hotel on Santa Cruz, the staff here was extraordinarily polite and helped make this a great experience. There were only two downsides to Pimampiro: the hot water didn't last for more than 30 seconds in the shower and the hotel was situated a good distance away from the waterfront up on top of a steep hill. We had a walk of 10-15 minutes any time that we wanted to head down to the tourist attractions in town which started to get tiresome after the fourth or fifth time that we had to do it.
We had dinner that evening at a restaurant named Rosita which was one of the three places we could pick from our tour company. Rosita advertised that it had been around since 1945 but the original ownership had been bought out about a decade ago and the restaurant modernized into the place that we saw here. Although the food itself was quite good, we had a long wait for our service which didn't make much sense because the place wasn't crowded at all. This restaurant wasn't so great that we wanted to come back again for another meal. The other pictures are some views of the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno waterfront the next morning as we were preparing for the day's main activity. We had woken up early again so that we could eat breakfast and be ready to head out on the water again.
Our activity for the day was a boat excursion to the most popular tourist destination on San Cristobal, a tiny offshore island named Kicker Rock (León Dormido in Spanish - not an exact translation). This wasn't included as part of our tour package and we had paid a small additional fee to add it to our itinerary. We joined a group of about a dozen other tourists for the day and hopped aboard the pictured boat named the Varkiyo. Although we weren't traveling nearly as far as when crossing between the main islands, it was still going to take roughly an hour to reach Kicker Rock which was situated about halfway up the eastern coast of San Cristobal. The weather was bright and partly cloudy on this morning as we were treated to more sights of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno as it faded from view behind the boat.
These were a few pictures of wildlife that we spotted while traveling along the eastern shores of San Cristobal. There were more blue-footed boobies here perched atop the rocks, making this the third island where we had encountered the brightly-colored animals. This must have been a frequent resting spot for the boobies since the rocks were covered with their droppings. Off in the other direction heading out to sea we spotted a large cruise ship resting at anchor. This was about as big as cruise ships are allowed to be when traveling to the Galapagos; the truly massive cruise ships with thousands of passengers aren't allowed to visit the islands to help protect the wildlife. At a guess I'd estimate that this cruise ship had several hundred passengers; most of the touring boats that we had seen during this trp were much smaller and held more like 30-50 passengers apiece.
Shortly thereafter we came across a completely different and unexpected form of wildlife. The pilot of the boat spotted jets of water from the blowhole of a whale and we quickly realized that there were several of the enormous creatures up ahead! These were Humpback Whales and the pilot identified three of them in total, what appeared to be a mother whale and then two younger calves. Humpback whales can be found in oceans all over the world but the Galapagos is not known for its whale-watching and they are not common in this area. This was a true stroke of good luck to come across the animals here. We could see Kicker Rock off in the distance but for the moment it was put aside to spend some time following the whales with the boat's motors turned down in the hopes that they would continue to surface.
Our pilot pointed out that the whales were surfacing to breathe more often than they normally do which was a sign that there were younger whales present. We followed the whales for about 20 minutes and were rewarded when one of them surfaced very close to the boat, no more than 10 meters / 30 feet or so distant. Liz had our camera and was in perfect position to snap a bunch of great shots of the animal cresting the waves. On that note, have I mentioned that whales are really, really big? There's a reason why "whale" as a noun has a secondary meaning as an enormous object in the English language. Humpback whales average about 15 meters / 50 feet in length and weigh roughly 30 tons. In other words, this whale was about the same size as the boat that we were on and it wasn't a good idea to get any closer than we already were. This is the first time that I'd been able to see the blowhole of a whale in person and it's hard to convey how majestic these animals are up close. While we didn't see any of the whales breaching themselves by leaping out of the water, this was still an amazing experience and something totally unexpected. It's rare for visitors to see whales in the Galapagos at all, much less this closely.
Eventually the whales headed off and we resumed our trip towards Kicker Rock. Our boat made a circuit of the tiny island upon arrival so that we had a chance to get a better look. Kicker Rock is the remains of an offshore lava cone which eventually split into two pieces over time. It looked as though it was getting close to splitting again into three pieces as wind and water slowly eroded away what had been created by lava. The rocks were rough and broken up close with steep slopes rising from most of the shoreline. There was only one place where it looked possible for people to climb without ropes, not that visitors are allowed onto the island any longer. The British called this rock formation Kicker Rock because they thought it looked like the toe of a boot while the Spanish named it León Dormido because they thought it resembled a sleeping lion. I didn't think it looked like either of those things so I guess I lacked their imagination.
Kicker Rock's offshore location has made it a perfect resting place for the local wildlife. We spotted about two dozen sea lions relaxing along the shoreline where they snoozed atop the rocks until deciding to head back into the water to feed. Above them were an untold number of birds which used the cliffs for nesting. Innumerable generations of birds had stained the rocks white with their droppings and we could see huge numbers of them sitting on the high ground where they were out of reach for any non-fliers. Birds were constantly taking off and landing on the little island as we watched them soaring by overhead. Since people are no longer allowed to land on the rocks these animals have Kicker Rock entirely to themselves these days.
Our main activity was a snorkeling excursion in the waters surrounding Kicker Rock. Our boat was one of three or four groups who had traveled to Kicker Rock for this purpose, including one boat which had divers who were going to be using scuba gear to head further underwater. The water was cold enough again that we were happy to use the provided wetsuits along with snorkeling gear. The tour guide led our group into the water where we swam along the edge of the rocks and then through the big gap over to the other side. This was not an activity for weaker swimmers as the currents were strong and we were several miles away from the shore. The sight lines underwater were wild: Kicker Rock extended vertically downwards until it became too dark to see, looking like a sheer cliff dropping down into blackness. I've never experienced anything like that before and it was almost vertigo-inducing to behold. I tried to find a picture of this online (since our water camera was still broken from earlier in the trip) and this was the best that I could do.
Of course we weren't simply there to see the rocks - it was the underwater wildlife which was the highlight of the snorkeling excursion. The presence of the offshore rocks brings lots of nutrients up to the surface of the water and large numbers of fish therefore also inhabit the area to feast on microscopic organisms. We saw hundreds and hundreds of fish swimming together in massive schools, enough that they were easy to mistake for part of the natural rock formations. We also ran into more sea turtles as well as a few sharks pointed out by our tour guide. He said that these were a few Hammerhead Sharks although they were far enough below us underwater that we couldn't tell much beyond the fact that the animals were large fish. We were in the water for about 45 minutes and the strong currents made this an exhausting swim; I was really getting tired by the end and needed to tap out before it became dangerous to continue. It would have been a smarter idea to wear the suggested lifejacket to conserve some energy but then I wouldn't have been able to dive underwater for a closer look at the wildlife. We did get up close and personal with one type of wildlife: there were tiny jellyfish in the water that stung everyone on their exposed skin. That wasn't exactly a lot of fun but it wasn't too bad overall.
After the snorkeling was done, our boat took us over close to the shoreline of San Crisobal where the tour group ate a well-deserved lunch. This was a really delicious buffet meal with fish and chicken and pasta and several types of fruit although I think it also tasted better because we were tired out from the snorkeling. Once lunch was finished we were ferried over to the main island in a tiny inflatable dinghy. Our boat didn't have much of a draft but it was still too big to unload the tour group directly on the shore itself. This particular spot was named Puerto Grande and it was located on the untouched northern portion of San Cristobal. There are no houses or roads anywhere to be found as this whole part of the island is undisturbed wilderness. We walked along the beach with our guide who showed us a group of mangroves whose roots were flooded each day at high tide. It was absolutely beautiful here along the shoreline, arguably the prettiest place that we visited in the Galapagos.
We finished up this activity by having a chance to relax along the beach for about half an hour. There were two young girls in the tour group who went swimming in the water while all of the adults (including us) preferred taking a break and sitting on the beach. We may have been right along the equator but the water was still pretty chilly here in the Galapagos winter. It was a beautiful spot to unwind after the snorkeling before heading back to town. We rode up on the top floor of the boat on the way back and that allowed us to catch more of the breezes flowing along the ocean. We were also able to take a few last looks at Kicker Rock in the distance as we returned back towards civilization. It was an amazing excursion well worth the additional fee that we had paid and we would recommend visiting Kicker Rock to anyone else who travels to San Cristobal.
The tour concluded in late afternoon as it deposited us back on the docks of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. This was our first real opportunity to explore the town and we spent some time walking along the waterfront as evening fell. The main activity in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno has traditionally been fishing (which is gradually being replaced by tourism) and there were still plenty of signs of commercial fishing activity on display. We saw lots of boats floating in the harbor and more of them in drydock on the sandy shore. There were a bunch of newer restaurants and tourist shops hugging the waterfront along Avenue Charles Darwin where there was also a small replica of his ship the Beagle and a creepy-looking statue of a young Darwin himself. We also noticed that there were sea lions laying around everywhere along the waterfront:
Even having been to the Galapagos it still feels crazy to me that the sea lions are just everywhere in the middle of the towns. There were so many of them in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno that the beaches were essentially unusable by people, not that these beaches were good for swimming anyway. We walked along the full length of the waterfront to check out the different restaurants on display and see what looked the most appealing. Since this was a day that we had added onto our tour package, for once we didn't have a set list of venues to pick between and could eat anywhere that we wanted. We ended up choosing the Chakana restaurant at the Casa Blanca hotel:
This restaurant was a little bit more expensive but proved to be worth it as this was one of our best meals in the Galapagos. We had a wonderful appetizer which tasted a bit like fried dough but which was made out of a type of local cornmeal. Then for our main courses Liz ordered a type of fish while I had an amazing seafood and rice dish. I wish that the image hadn't come out blurry since this was probably my favorite thing that I had to eat on our trip. Our dinner took place in a lovely setting with harborfront views and it was a great way to cap off our busy day.
The next day would be our last full day to spend sightseeing in the Galapagos. We were back on the scheduled tour once again and the activity for the day took us to visit the highlands portion of San Cristobal. Our tour guide for the day picked us up and drove us along the only main road on the island, running due east from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno across the southern portion of San Cristobal until reaching the southeast coast. It was chilly and raining in the interior of the island and it took about half an hour to reach this tortoise breeding center near the end of the road. This was San Cristobal's version of the same giant tortoise conservation center that we had previously experienced on Isabela and Santa Cruz islands. We discovered that this was one of the most popular tourist destinations on San Cristobal as there were several tour groups already present. Visitors were once again able to get right up next to the giant tortoises as they roamed through the forest in their natural habitat. And yes, we did encounter two of them engaged in mating which was slightly awkward for everyone.
Here are some more pictures of the giant tortoises at the breeding center. There was a shallow mud pool here right next to the walking trail that ran through the breeding center and the tortoises had clearly gathered in this area to enjoy it. There were so many of them hugging the trail that it wasn't possible to stay at a distance and once again the tortoises didn't seem to mind the presence of people. We had seen plenty of giant tortoises across three different islands by this point but they're such unique creatures that we didn't get tired of the experience.
The terminus of the road wasn't much further beyond the giant tortoise breeding center, reaching its endpoint at this beach known as Puerto Chino. There was a walking trail that ran from the parking lot down to the coastline; it took about 10 minutes to walk its 650 meter length as the trail ran past cactuses and scrub brushes. Soon enough we had reached Puerto Chino where a sandy beach provided a place for visitors to swim in the ocean. These pictures indicated that this wasn't a particularly nice day, with overcast skies and a steady wind along the coast, but there were a few local families with children who were playing amongst the waves. This beach was noteworthy because it was in use by more than one species of mammal:
Forget about being a beach for humans, this was clearly a place that the sea lions considered to be theirs as well. There were at least a dozen of them here, taking over the tent by the entrance to the beach and waddling around at the edge of the waves. I couldn't get over what an amazing experience this had to be for the kids swimming here - imagine being a child and getting to play in the water right next to the sea lions. It put to shame the beaches that I remember visiting when I was growing up!
There was a small outcropping of rocks at the edge of the beach where visitors could climb up to the top and look out across the sandy waterline. We waved hello to the sea lions and hiked atop the rocks to get a better vantage point of the beach. The overcast skies made the pictures taken here look particularly dramatic as Liz and I posed with the rising hills of San Cristobal in the background. It was windy and drizzling rain just a little bit here at the southern edge of the island.
These rocks were also the roosting ground for more birds as we came across another group of blue-footed boobies up here. This was another opportunity to view them up close and we were nearly able to get within arm's reach of the birds. There were both male and female birds resting atop the rocks, distinguishable due to the shape of their eyes and the slightly different coloring of their feet. We felt fortunate that we were once again able to get this close to the boobies without them being spooked and flying away. While we were taking some pictures of the birds, we also spotted a large shape moving in the water and quickly realized that there was a sea turtle swimming next to the rocks as well. It didn't come out that well in the picture since we were photographing something moving under the water but that was indeed another sea turtle down there. This was the third or fourth time that we'd seen sea turtles here in the Galapagos after never coming across one previously on other vacations.
We had another stop to make in the hills overlooking Puerto Chino. There was a staircase built into the side of one hill that led up to an observation deck with a signaling light on top. I think that this was intended for navigation purposes since the flight path of airplanes heading into San Cristobal's airport runs right above this area but it also made for an excellent opportunity to get a bird's eye view of this part of the island. We could look down and see the single road running through what was otherwise largely untouched natural landscape. The cluster of buildings next to the road was the giant tortoise breeding center that we had visited a couple of hours earlier. In the other direction, we had great views looking to the south out across the ocean. Puerto Chino was just barely visible and we were able to use the camera's distance lens to zoom in and get a sense of how the tiny beach nestled into the surrounding forest.
Our last stop on this morning tour was located in the central highlands portion of San Cristobal. We were visiting a place called El Junco which is the only freshwater lake to be found on San Cristobal. This lake is located in the collapsed crater of an extinct volcano and there's a hiking trail that leads up to the lake's edge. This sounded really awesome and I bet the place is beautiful on a clear day but the weather which had been merely overcast elsewhere was raining at a steady clip here in the highlands. This is apparently very common for the Galapagos which is why the hilly interiors of the islands are so much wetter than the more arid coastlines. We started the walk upwards through the foggy environs and the damp conditions; it was a good thing that there were wooden steps built into the path since all of the dirt had long since turned into mud. Liz was not amused by how many steps there were on this trail!
Unfortunately we weren't able to see too much of the lake even when we reached the top. El Junco was blanketed in a dense coat of fog that made it hard to see anything more about 100 feet / 30 meters distant. The vegetation up here was much more tropical in nature and clearly received a lot of the rain that we were experiencing at the moment. There was a little trail that wound down to the lake's shoreline and I managed to traverse it without falling, no easy task given the extremely muddy path. I was able to see the water of the lake from down here but not much more as it was still too foggy to see to the other side of the small body of water. This was kind of a neat place to visit specifically because the weather conditions were so different from everywhere else. This place gave off real "Jurassic Park" vibes between the fog and the tropical plant life.
The lake at El Junco was the end of our tour for the day and we returned back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a late lunch. The tour guide on this day was friends with the owner of this Italian restaurant (Giuseppe's) and it was one of the places that we could pick as part of our tour package. Both of us ordered individual pizzas with Liz getting a vegetable white pizza and me choosing the meat lover's special. Maybe it was because we were really hungry from eating a late lunch after sightseeing in the morning but the food here was really good! It was definitely the best pizza that we had anywhere on this trip. As far as the other picture above, that was the view looking down the hill near our hotel. We walked up and down that hill at least a dozen times and it was getting pretty tiresome by this point in our stay.
We didn't have any other activities scheduled for the rest of the day with our tour group. That allowed us to use the remainder of the afternoon to take care of another chore that had been weighing on us over the last few days: taking a fresh test for the COVID-19 virus. There was a standing requirement that anyone returning to the United States had to show proof of a negative COVID test taken within three days of travel or else they would be denied entry into the country. We had bought our own COVID tests and brought them with us to deal with this requirement, however these self-administered COVID tests required having a working Internet connection so that a healthcare professional could verify the results. Needless to say, we had almost nonexistent Internet access in the Galapagos which made our COVID tests useless. Instead, the staff at our hotel was able to schedule testing at the local Oskar Jandl hospital on the other side of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. We walked over to the hospital, had the nasal swab test conducted outside, and then returned to pick up the results three hours later. The hospital staff were incredibly nice and Oskar Jandl looked like an excellent facility for care from the little we saw of it. This process couldn't have gone any better and we now had the negative test results that we needed to return to the USA.
For our last night on San Cristobal, we chose to eat dinner at a restaurant named Midori along the waterfront. This was a place that we had been interested in frequenting anyway and had the good luck to discover that it was one of the places included in our tour package. As the name might suggest, Midori specialized in Japanese food and we both ate seafood-based dinners. The main thing I remember about this meal was the food being good but not being able to eat all of it thanks to still being full from the pizza at lunchtime. The setting at Midori was fantastic as we had a table on the second floor looking out at the waterfront right by the docks where we had first arrived on the ferry. The big "San Cristobal" sign along the harbor is easily visible behind Liz in the picture above. This was a great way to close out our time on the island with a relaxing dinner.
Our flight back to mainland Ecuador departed the next morning from the small airport outside Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. It was close enough that we could have walked there easily if we hadn't had our luggage with us. The airport was very small with only two airline companies running flights (LatAM and Avianca) and exactly two gates where passengers could board. It looked clean and new though with a welcoming atmosphere for travelers. We certainly couldn't get lost given that there were only two planes flying out of the airport that morning. I had a window seat on our flight and wanted to take some pictures of San Cristobal as we departed. That plan was a big failure because our plane ended up passing over the whole island in about 30 seconds after takeoff! I snapped the one image of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno included above and then we were flying over the waters of the Pacific Ocean mere seconds later. San Cristobal is a pretty small island from the air.
Of course it wasn't as simple as snapping our fingers and suddenly being back home again. The flight out of San Cristobal took us back to Quito but our return flight back to the Washington DC area wasn't scheduled to take place until the next day. We had one additional evening to spend in Ecuador and we decided to book a stay for that one night at a hot springs resort in the mountains. This place was named Termas Papallacta and it was located about an hour's drive to the east from the Quito airport. We had a lengthy taxi ride out to the resort that twisted and turned through the Andes mountains and I admit that there were times where I wondered if we were heading in the correct direction. Eventually we reached Termas Papallacta in the late afternoon and it proved to have a dramatic setting high in the hills. The buildings of the resort complex were shrouded in mist with towering mountains rising up on all sides. It was also pretty cold at this elevation despite being right on top of the equator!
We had about an hour of daylight remaining and decided to walk around for a bit before it became too dark to see. There were several hiking trails that wound through the mountains and we took a short walk along one of them that led to an island campsite in the middle of a river. It continued to be foggy with limited visibility, with just enough light to tell that we were surrounded by mountains. After about ten minutes of walking we came across a herd of cows grazing away on the local grasses. Between the mountains and the livestock Liz thought that this place was reminiscent of the Southern Alps in New Zealand where she had done a study abroad program. We didn't stay out for very long since we were tired from a long day of traveling and the light was already starting to fade.
These were some pictures from inside the lodge at Termas Papallacta. This was by far the most luxurious and also the most expensive place where we stayed during our trip. We would have enjoyed having an extra day to spend here relaxing a bit longer but this place was too pricey for that. For our brief stay, we enjoyed having a nice meal and getting a chance to try out the hot springs located right outside our room. Liz was also able to get a massage which was well-deserved after our long trip. The only downside to staying here came in the form of the other guests: there were several families with young children who started playing in the hot springs pools very early in the morning. These kids were running around and making lots of noise at 6:30 AM - what the heck?! The hotel didn't have any kind of quiet hours policy which was just bizarre to us. Couldn't they have asked guests to be quiet until at least 8:00 AM? Oh well.
Here are some final closing images from Termas Papallacta as we prepared to depart the next morning. Unlike the foggy conditions from the day before, this day dawned bright and sunny with full views of the surrounding countryside. It was a perfect day for flying even though it felt strange to think that we would be starting the day in this remote village high in the Andes and then ending it back in our house in suburban Washington DC. It was another long day of travel as we caught a taxi with the same driver back to the Quito airport, then boarded a plane that took us back to Miami, and then finally a second flight that returned to downtown DC. We arrived after midnight and thus ended up having to pay for one extra day's parking when retrieving our car from the longterm parking lot, argh! It was a late night but we did make it home safe and sound without any further adventures.
It was a magical trip overall to the Galapagos and a place that we never thought we'd have the chance to visit. We'll never forget all of the wildlife that we had the chance to see over the course of our two week trip. Quito alone would have made for a great vacation but then we were able to add all of the things that we experienced in the Galapagos: hiking on volcanoes, riding bikes on the beach, snorkeling on offshore rock formations, and meeting everything from giant tortoises to Galapagos penguins to blue-footed boobies to sea turtles and manta rays to about a bajillion sea iguanas. I hope that travel to the Galapagos will continue to become more affordable so that more people can experience the islands while also preserving the wildlife as much as possible. Hopefully this was an entertaining read about our trip; thanks as always for following along with our travels!