Galagapagos Islands  | travel | eileen home | all galapagos photos
We took an 8-day trip on the Monserrat II around the eastern Galapagos Islands.

Trip Itinerary:

Dec 13     Fly from Quito to Baltra
Dec 14     Genovesa
Dec 15     Santiago/Bartolome
Dec 16     Santa Cruz
Dec 17     Espanola
Dec 18     San Cristobal
Dec 19     Santa Fe/Plaza Islands
Dec 20     Back to Santa Cruz/Baltra,
              return flight to Quito



The islands are volcanic, so the landscapes include rocky coastline, coral sand beaches, lava fields, and scrubby desert, with some greener highlands.  Even though the islands are located near the equator, the climate is relatively cool (similar to southern California) due to the influence of the Humboldt Stream from Antarctica.


Land Tortoise

"The inhabitants state that they can distinguish the tortoises from different islands; Captain Porter has described those from Charles and Hood Island as having their shells in front thick and turned up like a Spanish saddle, whilst the tortoises from James Island are rounder, blacker, and have a better taste when cooked."
Marine Iguana

"When in the water this lizard swims with perfect ease and quickness...A seaman on board sank one, with a heavy weight attached to it, thinking thus to kill it directly; but when, an hour afterwards, he drew up the line, it was quite active."


Synchronized diving!
Blue-footed boobies are a lot of fun to watch when they go fishing.  They fold their wings back and dive very fast into the water, then pump their wings to get airborne and try again.  Their success rate seems pretty low. 
The land iguanas are funny because they eat low-hanging cactus leaves and flowers and they have to jump for them. Also, their tongues have to be pretty tough to manage the spines.

The Galapagos Islands are famous for strange animals, many of them unique to the different islands. I read Darwin's "The Voyage of the Beagle" on the plane ride over, to prepare for the visit, and I've included some relevant quotes.

view from Bartolome summit
clockwise, from top left: Genovesa, Darwin Bay, South Plaza Island, Santiago Island
San Cristobal (Lobos)














































































Land Iguana

"Like their brothers the sea-kind, they are ugly animals, of a yellowish orange beneath, and of a brownish red colour above: from their low facial angle they have a singularly stupid appearance."
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The end!  Click here for all photos (organized by day).
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