The Galápagos Islands
Wow!! I am left breathless after indulging in a week vacation to the Galápagos Islands. It was the most amazing experience I could ever ask for.
The Galápagos Islands is made up of 13 islands around the equator in the Pacific Ocean that is located west of continental Ecuador. It is where Charles Darwin did his studies on evolution. It is a national park and a biological marine reservation that is home to a vast number of endemic species.
I traveled to the Galápagos Island with an amazing group of girls that were eager as I was to learn and take in all the beauty that the Islands had to offer. Out of the 13 different Islands in the Galápagos Island, we decided on visiting 3 islands due to our tight budget and time, but just being in one Island would have been enough because of all the many things that were available to explore.
Upon arriving to San Cristobal, we were immediately greeted by lovely sea lions that were resting and sun bathing on the sidewalks of the main streets. In San Cristobal we wasted no time and began to explore. We found a hostal and booked an amazing two day tour for CHEAP, and then headed to the beach to snorkel. Everything in San Cristobal was walking distance, so we walked over to Cerro Las Tijeretas (Frigate bird Hill) where I snorkeled for the first time in my life. It was the most thrilling experience ever. I was determined that I was not going to panic and just enjoy what was to come. We did not see very much sea animals, but that was only a warm-up compared to what we had coming the next day.
On our first day tour, we took a boat to two different sites which to me felt like a whole other world. We snorkeled in Islas Lobos (Island of the sea lions) where we saw tons and tons of schools of fishes, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, vibrant colored crabs, and Marine Iguanas. We then headed over to the León Dormido. It is called the León Dormido because from the highlands of San Cristobal, you can see a huge ‘lion shaped’ rock sticking out in the middle of the sea. Between the rocks it is formed a channel of water where the girls and I snorkeled through with a guide and that is where I could not believe my eyes. I felt like I was in the ‘Finding Nemo’ movie. Under water we saw sea turtles, all sorts of colorful fishes, and Galápagos sharks. Yes, I said it, Galápagos sharks. I swam with sharks. It was AMAZING!! Never thought I’d ever do that. It was the best feeling in the world. I can now say that I, Lorraine Perdomo, swam with sharks.
After a wonderful 2 ½ days in San Cristobal, we head to the Island of Santa Cruz on a small boat for 2 hours. That was an experience in its self. Upon arriving we again wasted no time and explored the Island. We went to Tortuga Bay (one of the largest beaches of white sand in all of Galápagos) and spent an entire day sun bathing, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company.
The last Island we went to was Isabela, where it is home to Giant Turtles, Penguins, Flamingo birds, Marine Iguanas, sea lions, and Tintoreras (name for white fin sharks), which we all got to see.
This trip was a well worth every penny trip. I would most definitely recommend this trip to anyone who is thinking about traveling to Ecuador. I learned so much about the Galápagos Islands, and its beautiful and unique species. It is definitely a unique place to visit. The natives of Galápagos are amazing people filled with joy, happiness, and passion for its animals. It is a place that is protected and kept clean to prevent anything that would cause harm to their species.