One of the animals I really wanted to see while visiting the Galapagos was the Galapagos penguin.
We saw them (and a lot more) on the Las Tintoreras and Bay Tour on Isabela Island.
After a short boat ride across the bay, we came to a little rocky island where we saw blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins soaking up the sun.
I was surprised to see how small the penguins were, they were so cute!
When they were swimming they looked kind of like ducks, but once they were out of the water there was no mistaking them. I had only ever seen penguins in a zoo and they were much larger. It was very special to see Galapagos penguins swimming, sunbathing and climbing around on the rocks in their natural habitat.
Sea Lions, Marine Iguanas & White Tipped Reef Sharks
After we spent some time watching the penguins and blue-footed boobies we continued in the boat for a few minutes to an island of jagged lava.
As we explored the island we saw piles of marine iguanas, they were literally piled on top of each other. They were a little hard to see because they blended in so well with the black lava. The marine iguanas don’t move around all that much so we enjoyed seeing them sneeze salt water all over each other. It looks like little geysers going off in an otherwise still landscape.
We also saw sea lions sunbathing, and sleeping white-tipped reef sharks. The sea lions were laying on the sand beach at the edge of the lava field. The white-tipped reef sharks were sleeping in a narrow lagoon.
It was amazing to see the sharks sleeping in the lagoon. A few of them were awake and slowly swimming back and forth through the length of the lagoon. The water was crystal clear so we had a really good view of them.
I had never watched a shark swimming around before, sharks move in a distinctive way. Even though the white-tipped reef sharks in the Galapagos are a subspecies and not aggressive with people, I could see the “shark” in them as they moved their bodies from side to side swimming the length of the lagoon.
The landscape on this tour was really beautiful. With the emerald-green and blue water, green mangroves, white sand beach and black lava our cameras had a real workout. And to see such unique animals in that setting was a wonderful experience.
Have you experienced the Las Tintoreras and Bay Tour? Please share your experience by commenting on this post.