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Laguna Salinas & Galapagos Flamingos

One of my favorite things I saw independently on Isabela island Galapagos was Laguna Salinas.

I was wandering around Puerto Villamil (the small town on Isabela) after the day’s organized activities were over, when I found a lagoon. It was right on the edge of town, within 15 minutes of my hotel (Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge). The lagoon was surrounded by mangrove trees and to my surprise, there was a flock of flamingos wading in the water!

The lagoon by daylight

The lagoon by daylight

Flamingos in the Galapagos

If you ask someone about animals in the Galapagos, they are likely to tell you about the giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, and Darwins finches that are unique to the Galapagos.

This species of flamingo can also be found in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Belize, but this was my first time spotting them in the wild.

They are beautiful creatures to watch. Most of the time they keep their heads tucked into their bodies, resting on one leg. Every once in a while you can see them dipping their beak into the water to eat, walking around the lagoon, or if you are lucky, taking off in flight.

A flamingo taking off from Laguna Salinas

A flamingo taking off from Laguna Salinas

There were five flamingos in the lagoon

There were five flamingos in the lagoon

Laguna Salinas

The lagoon itself merits a visit on your free time in Isabela. If you are lucky you might spot wild flamingos. Our naturalist guide said that the population of Galapagos flamingos is not huge,  so spotting them requires a bit of luck.

If you don’t see flamingos, the consolation prize is nothing to scoff at. Sunset from the observation deck is stunning, with palm trees reflecting into the water.

Sunset over Laguna Salinas on Isabela

Sunset over Laguna Salinas on Isabela

Are you curious about diving in the Galapagos? Or, would you like to read some interesting facts about choosing a land-based tour instead of a cruise?

Have you been to Laguna Salinas? Did you see flamingos? Let us know in comments!

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About the author: Lisa Cho is an expat living in Ecuador, originally from San Francisco, California. She writes about the Galapagos Islands on the Red Mangrove Galapagos Travel Blog and about her mainland Ecuador adventures on

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