Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Santa Cruz Highlands - Galapagos Islands

Monday, March 21, 2022, we flew from Guayaquil, Ecuador to Baltra Island in the Galapagos Islands and were picked up by representatives of the Alya, a yacht that holds 16 guests. We were picked up by a bus and transported to a ferry which crossed the Itabaca Channel between Baltra and Santa Cruz. There we got on another bus which drove the 19 miles to the other side of Santa Cruz Island to Puerto Ayora. Along the way, about 13 miles from Puerto Ayora, we stopped at Rancho Primicias, a privately owned tortoise ranch next to El Chato, another privately owned tortoise ranch. We were served lunch and took an excursion out in the long grass on the ranch where we saw quite a few tortoises. It was fun to see them, but it felt like a glorified zoo. It was much more fun to see them wild at Urbina Bay later in the trip. During lunch I focused on photographing various Darwin finches that were attracted by the bread crumbs from the sandwiches we were eating. I also got a photo of a beautiful Galapagos mocking bird while sitting at the table eating lunch. During our tortoise walk I found some white-cheeked pintails which were using a swampy pond. Afterwards we drove to Puerto Ayora, had about an hour to walk around, then met at the dock to take a panga ride out to the Alya which was anchored quite far out in the bay. Galapagos sea lions were occupying most of the benches on the dock, but most everyone was happy to have them there. 
Medium ground finches

Small ground finches

Small tree finch

Vegetarian finch
Galapagos mockingbird

White-cheeked pintail

Galapagos giant tortoises

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the beginning of the bird fest in the Galapagos! It only got better, right?