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Ecuador // Galapagos // San Cristobal

July 2014

Before we planned our trip to the Galápagos Islands, Dennis got in touch with a friend of a friend who had just been.  He had booked his whole trip through www.galapagosislands.com/ and recommended we check it out, too.  While you don't necessarily need to book an all-inclusive tour when visiting the islands, we thought it might be easier than booking everything individually on our own (since the entirety of the islands is a national park, you need guides to go to most places).  It was definitely the more expensive route- but it was well worth it.  Our guide was a 23 year old named Pablo who was born and raised in the Galápagos.  He was extremely knowledgeable and a lot of fun.  And to make things even better, we only had 4 other people in our group- a solo woman and a family of 3, all from Canada.  They were lovely and easy to travel with (mostly- the solo woman was a bit annoying).  Overall, we were very happy that we chose to see the islands this way.  We were able to see so much and pack so much in those 7 days, without really having to plan anything!

Our trip started on San Cristobal Island, where within hours of landing we were swimming with sea lions.  No joke.

That night, Dennis and I went out for dinner and a few Pisco Sours.

 

The next day was possibly the best day of our whole trip.  For starters, we woke up to this:

After a yummy breakfast, we met the rest of the group on the docks down by the water.  The morning would be spent kayaking followed by lunch on a nearby beach.

The kayaking trip was so beautiful and very peaceful (unlike the kayaking we would do in a few days... more on that later).  We saw several blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, & tons of little crabs all over the rocks. 

After lunch, we headed out to Kicker Rock (or León Dormido, which is the Spanish name), a huge rock in the middle of the ocean that is the remains of a lava cone.  It's super popular to dive here, but since we weren't scuba certified yet we just were there to snorkel. 

The water was chilly but it was so amazing- we saw 3 huge spotted eagle rays, a black tip shark, and tons of other cool fish.  

While we were in the water, the captain yelled to Pablo to tell us that he spotted a pod of dolphins in the distance.  We all quickly swam to the boat so that we could see them.  Within minutes, the pod had surrounded the boat and they continued to swim with us for at least 15 minutes.  Pablo said it was the largest pod of dolphins he had seen in a long time- and it was his 23rd birthday that day!  It was incredible.  

We spent the rest of the day exploring the island before dinner at our hotel.

The next morning we boarded a super tiny plane to Isabela Island!