My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 4

I feel that it is best to include a quick recap at the beginning of each post of this series, so if this is the first post you’re reading, it has been the biggest dream of mine to go to the Galapagos Islands since I was 6 years old. I was incredibly blessed with the opportunity to do so this summer. This post will cover day 4 of the incredible 10-day journey. If you missed the previous posts, you can start the series here.

Day 4 (Santa Fe Island and South Plaza Island): Today was a very busy day comprised of two hikes and one snorkel. We started the day on Santa Fe Island for our first hike. On the boat ride to the island, we did a small amount of bird watching, and we were able to see our first blue-footed booby of the trip. This was one of my biggest wildlife goals for my Galapagos adventure, and being able to see one so early on in the trip was an incredible experience. Of course, my camera decided to fog up right when we got to this little guy but I did manage to get one good picture of him.

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The one good photo of the blue-footed booby that I was able to capture.

When we finally pulled up to the shore, we were greeted by a colony of Galapagos sea lions. They were all relaxing in the sand or playing in the water. Without any fear of humans, we were able to get really close without them having a care in the world. They made incredible photography models, and I think everyone in my group really enjoyed seeing them up close.

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On the same beach, we saw our first lava lizards as well, both males and females. At the time, we had no clue that we would be seeing countless more following this experience. Even so, I don’t think I ever got sick of seeing these little guys scurrying about on the islands.

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After leaving the beach, we walked along a trail that soon led us to our first Galapagos hawk of the trip. This is the big predator of the islands. I really wanted to see one on the islands, but I could have never imagined how close I would be able to see one. This beautiful bird was sitting a mere 6 feet away from our group, at eye-level. The raptor was not even the smallest bit intimidated by our group and posed wonderfully for pictures.

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Right behind us, as we turned around, was our first land iguana of the trip. Such a prehistoric-looking creature. He had no fear of us either as he munched away on some grasses.

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We saw several other animals along this trail, including cactus finches and more lava lizards and land iguanas. The trail brought us around to another section of beach, complete with another colony of Galapagos sea lions, more lava lizards, and several sally lightfoot crabs.

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We left Santa Fe and returned to the yacht to prepare for our first snorkel of the trip. It was an amazing experience. The water was crystal clear, but also fairly cold. Luckily one of my friends had brought an extra rash guard and let me borrow it, which definitely helped with the temperature.

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The highlight of the snorkeling for me was swimming with my first Galapagos green sea turtle. These have been my favorite animal for a long time, and it was amazing to be able to swim alongside such a gentle, graceful, and beautiful creature.

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Coming in a close second for best experience was swimming with Galapagos sea lions. Nothing will ever prepare you for swimming with these goofy creatures. They are so playful, and there were several that nibbled on flippers, cameras, and more. There was one that was even doing spins in the water with me.

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We saw several other critters in the water as well, including giant damselfish, king angelfish, sergeant majors, a scorpionfish, pencil urchins, starfish, and many more!

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Upon completing the snorkel, we quickly headed back to the boat to eat and change for our final activity of the day, a hike on South Plaza Island. Several people from my group that I’ve spoken with have said that this was their favorite island of the trip. I can’t say that it was mine, but I can definitely see why it was for them. It was a beautiful island.

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One of the biggest highlights of this island for me was seeing swallowtail gulls up close. These are the only nocturnal gulls, and because of that, they have HUGE eyes with a red ring around them to help them see at night. We even were able to see a baby being cared for by its parents.

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On this island, we also saw a gorgeous young marine iguana, several species of birds, numerous sea lions, lava lizards, sally lightfoots, and many more land iguanas as well as our first cactus forest. It was truly an incredible place.

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Up next, Day 5: Santa Cruz Island!

Day 4

16 thoughts on “My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 4

  1. Unbound Roots

    Beautiful pictures, and how amazing to be able to get so close to wildlife! I can’t imagine!!! Thanks for sharing this day of your journey. I look forward to all of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 3 – Adventures Of A New Floridian

  3. Pingback: The Liebster Award 2017 – Darts and Maps

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