Isabela is the only island in the Galapagos archipelago formed by six active volcanos – five of them very active. From a distance, Isabela is distinguishable because of the high-altitude volcanoes in the shape of a shield, while on the map, it looks like a sea horse. One of the greatest features of Isabela is the large number of giant tortoise species found there. It is the only place in the world where you can spot five different giant tortoise species, which are endemic to the volcano landscapes they inhabit.
The morning started with sunny skies, perfect weather for exploring Urbina Bay. We made a wet landing on a black sand beach that had sea turtle tracks from the night before. During our walk, we learned about the vegetation endemic to this arid landscape, and came across Galapagos land iguanas and, luckily, a few juvenile giant tortoises. Warm from our walk, we took a dip in the sea before returning to the ship.
In the afternoon, after a marvelous Ecuadorian lunch, we ventured to Tagus Cove for kayaking and paddle-boarding along the cove, where we came across a colony of Galapagos penguins feeding on little fish in the water, flightless cormorants nesting on tuff formations, and diving pelicans and boobies. Then it was time to snorkel among the penguins, salema fish, mobulas, rays, and sea turtles. Some guests rounded off the afternoon with an invigorating walk to Darwin Lake, while others took Zodiac rides along this beautiful shoreline.