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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Sun, Sea and Tortoises

Sun, Sea and Tortoises 1

The group is loving island life! We started the weekend out with an early morning hike to La Loberia, a beach that is known for its sea lion colony. Trip Members took a special liking to our tour guide and even referred to him as “the Indiana Jones of South America”. He was very knowledgeable about the native birds, marine iguanas, and plants throughout our hike. Once arriving at the beach, we got to see a baby sea lion that was just waking up from a nap. The waves were huge, which was quite a sight to see. Even though we didn’t get to go snorkelling, it didn’t stop us from having a good time! Our tour guide gave us a more in-depth tour, even taking us to a secret spot, where we were able to see La Loberiafrom a different perspective. Once returning from the hike, Trip Members’ relaxed on the beach with the sea lions, while listening to music and watching the waves. 

Luckily our guide knows his home island of San Cristobal really well, and was able to find a sheltered bay for the group to snorkel!  The water visibility was great, and Trip Members even spotted some sea lions! After having lunch right by the water, it was time for another hike! This time, we stopped at the Interpretive Center. The Interpretive Center was informative about how the Galapagos came to be, and the history of the islands. The Interpretive Center is also an access point that leads to the famous Cerro Tijeretas. It has beautiful clear blue waters and is the perfect spot to cool down! Before jumping into the water, we spotted turtles and marine iguanas swimming! Once in the water, Trip Members were in for a show! Two sea lions decided to play a game with the group and were weaving through and blowing bubbles for almost 30 minutes! One of our Trip Members exclaimed, “After playing with the sea lion, we started to swim away from it, and it followed us! It was the craziest experience”! 

After having a few fun-filled days at San Cristobal, it was time to move onto Santa Cruz Island. We had a boat ride from island to island. We lucked out with the weather and the waves, as it was calm waters all the way there! Once on Santa Cruz Island, it was time to explore! Santa Cruz Island is bigger than San Cristobal and has lots more to see. All the restaurants have an island charm and many beautiful sea-inspired murals!  The girls of the group were quite excited to find out that there are acai bowls on the island!

Trip Members had a great night! The night started out with karaoke, and many dance parties occurred throughout the night! Some notable songs of the night were “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift! Everyone had a great time and loved singing to these classic throwbacks! One of our Trip Members who especially loved karaoke night exclaimed “This has been the best night of the trip! I had so much fun!”. Before heading back to our hotel, we decided to stop for a sweet treat, crepes! 

Our first full day on Santa Cruz Island started with a hike to the stunning Tortuga Bay, the most famous beach on Santa Cruz Island. Once reaching the island, Trip Members jumped in the refreshing clear waters to cool off before starting out our kayak tour! During the kayak tour, the group was excited to spot many turtles! During the afternoon, we went to the Charles Darwin Center, home to the most famous tortoise in the world, “Lonely George” who passed in June of 2012. Trip Members were impressed with how enormous the turtles were. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at Chocolapagos, a homemade chocolate store that makes more than 25 different flavors in the shape of different Galapagos animals!

Coming up is another activity-filled day of sun, sea, and tortoises! In the morning, we will be planting endemic plants, trees, and vegetables by the sea! While, in the afternoon, we will be hiking around Twin Craters. The craters are made from volcanic holes and has an incredible view of the island! Trip Members are sad that the trip is ending, but are so grateful for all the new friends they have made and the incredible experiences they have shared together.

The Westcoast Blogger

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