Posts Tagged 'Galapagos'
It’s not easy being an adventurous spirit but living confined to the city, so today, October 8th, 2021, I am starting my 3 days snorkeling-intensive trip in the Galapagos Islands with a tailored-made itinerary.
I have coordinated my hotel stays, meals, and snorkeling tours with Andean Travel Company. The rest of the adventure is up to me, so here we go!
Yesterday I arrived and took the afternoon at leisure to explore the Santa Cruz island’s amazing white coral beaches, otherworldly looking landscapes, and natural pools of turquoise waters inside lava caves.
Today, after breakfast at my hostel, I was picked up by my guide and we walked a couple of blocks towards the island’s dock. We embarked on a speedboat to Seymour Island. There, we anchored in Seymour channel, a water body that separates two islands.
I was provided all the necessary equipment and went to business. At the low basaltic cliffs below me, I spotted whitetip reef sharks cruising in the shallow waters. I did not expect that my first animal observation would be this quick, and thrilling!.
Many colourful fish such as the king angelfish, boxfish, and parrotfish swam around, and I got lost in thought admiring them. A strange sound brought me back to reality. It was as if small missiles were being shot. It was the sound of blue-footed boobies and pelicans plunge-diving at enormous speeds to catch fish! It was an absolute spectacle.
These daily snorkeling tours provide lunch, and I’m grateful for that, as snorkeling is a very energy-intensive activity.
On my second swim of the day, I spotted one of my favorite marine animals, the black-botched ray. It looked so elegant with its perfectly aerodynamic flatform and majestic in its cyclic underwater flight. I hoped to see a scalloped hammerhead shark, but they are difficult to find, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.
Today, October 9th, 2021, I’m heading to one of Galapagos’ most iconic landmarks. Pinnacle Rock on Bartolomé Island. Located northeast of Santa Cruz island, 2 hours away in a boat, this is an immense spearheaded obelisk rising from the ocean. We disembarked on the appropriately named Golden Beach, and from there I started swimming into a shallow cove full of precious coral formations and reef fish.
During my time in the cove, however, my mind was obsessed with swimming around the Pinnacle Rock itself. When we did, I found myself in the midst of spectacular lava formations, where whitetip reef sharks were resting. Sea lions were so playful and curious, that I actually got a bit scared with the minimal distance they kept from us. I consider myself so lucky because of these once-in-a-lifetime encounters. To finish off perfectly, we spotted the endangered Galapagos penguin. It was certainly an unexpected sight, an Antarctic bird in these warm waters, but I soon learned they are one of the best examples of the unique animal adaptation that happens in the Galapagos.
Day 3! I cannot believe that today is the last of my snorkeling trip. We navigated northwest to
Santa Fé Island. The area destined for snorkeling was well-protected from open sea currents, so my first thought was that this might be a smart choice for beginners. These calm, shallower waters, however, delivered generously.
Fluorescent blue chin parrotfishes, yellowtail surgeonfishes, and pufferfishes swam around the turquoise waters, and sea lions made me close company again. I really felt as if these boys knew that I was on a mission, and decided to escort me to the right place. To the open waters where the scalloped hammerhead sharks finally decided to reveal themselves. What an amazing creature, a perfect example of the ambitious effects of evolution. Its distinctive, enormous head works as a sensor that has yet to be explained by science. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to this trip.
Thank you, Galapagos!
ArcticTropic, located in Miami, is only 4 hours from Quito and Guayaquil. We are planning to visit soon and will add many new locations. Add your own below.