The Islands you visit are dependent on how many boats and visitors are in the area. We landed on Baltra Island and visited Seymour Norte, Santiago, Bartolome, Genovese and Santa Cruz. Each island is different, from sandy beaches to lava landscapes. We were not able to go to the Island where all the Lizards are and we didn't see the flightless cormorant - I think you would need at lest two weeks to see it all - still a trip of a lifetime!
Here are the rules for visiting the Galapagos Islands:
- Visitors to any protected areas within the Galapagos National Park must be accompanied by a naturalist guide authorized by the GNPD.
- Travel only with tour operators and/or boats authorized to work in the protected areas of Galapagos.
- Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife, and for your safety.
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you.
- Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems.
- Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the GNPD.
- Camping is only allowed in a few authorized areas in the Islands. Request authorization to camp at the Galapagos National Park’s offices at least 48 hours in advance.
- It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
- Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported.
- Practice “leave-no-trace” principals in order to maintain the beauty of the environment.
- Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat.
- Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park, as fires poses a serious risk to the flora and fauna of Galapagos.
- Fishing is only permitted on recreational tour boats authorized by the GNPD.
- Motorized aquatic sports, mini-subs, and aerial tourism activities are not permitted in the Galapagos National Park or Marine Reserve.
We spent three nights on the boat, it only holds 12 tourists, the crew and the food was exceptional. The papaya was most excellent! I didn't get sea sick at all, even though the boat rocked quite a bit at night. There were a few times in the night I awoke and looked out the window to see millions of stars.
The first day was Seymour Island - home of the Blue-footed Booby and Frigate Birds. It was mating season during our visit and we were able to see the Blue-footed Boobies mating dances. The island was loaded with birds, they were unafraid and it was awesome!
|Godzilla - Land Iguanna|
|look at me!|
|Yeah, I'm all that!|
We did see the Short-earred owl, he was on the ground, blending in very well, in a swarm of Pestrils. Snorkeling in somewhat rough water, I saw many fish and white tipped sharks - kind of freaked me out. On the boat was a book of all the fish in the area, I went through it and was able to find the names of the fish we saw, yeah, I don't remember them now. They didn't have fins that fit me and one of the crew members went to another boat to get some for me - thanks!
|day two schedule|
|Look directly in the center and you will see the Short-earred Owl|
|Nasca Booby (Black-footed Booby)|
|The birds were curious and came right up to you|
|Galapagos Mocking Bird (I'm pretty sure it;s not a finch)|
|I got this!|
No more snorkeling for me, Erich and I sat on the boat and updated our journals and took picture of the Frigate birds following the boat. I loved the texture of the lava on Santiago. The panga ride was great, we floated over by the penguins, they were so little and cute!
|Day three schedule|
|Lava - Santiago Island|
|Happy little Penguinos!!|