My second day trip in the Galapagos Islands was to South Plaza Island – a sea lion retreat a one hour and fifteen minutes sailing away from the Itabaca Channel dock on Santa Cruz Island. Upon arrival we took to dinghies to get ashore. Sea lions were playing all around us in the waters as we approached the dock – the sea was literally “boiling” with sea lions. There was also a welcoming committee on the small jetty, and they were not too keen on letting us onto their territory 🙂 After a while we were able to sneak off the boat. In addition to the huge sea lion colony the island is inhabited by yellow/brown land iguanas snacking on cactus and black marine iguanas chilling in the sun. I have now witnessed how fast an iguana actually is. I had no idea that’s what was sprinting across the trail further up, as we were crossing the island on foot, lengthwise. Not a long walk, but still long enough to wonder how the sea lions got up even there – I guess they are resourceful :), and some very smelly creatures – a couple is OK, a whole colony fumigates. Further east on the island there are tall cliffs with birds living on the cliff walls. When you look closely, it’s hard to spot them, you’ll see there’s hundreds of them. As in the rest of the Galapagos the animals are not very afraid of their human guests – they’ll let you know when you get too close. I loved experiencing the wildlife, but was also stunned by the colours of the terrain! On this day trip we stopped for some snorkelling on the way, at Punta Carrion. Not many wanting to go into the waters when we spotted a big shark circling the yacht… We also took to dinghies to have a look at sharks curled up in a bay.
I went with a tour company named Santa Fe (santafegalapagos.com.ec/yacht), which was run by the same people that owned the hostel I stayed at, meaning I was the first on the bus going around town picking up the others and taking us to the dock. The yacht is not of the biggest and fanciest, but it works. Trying not to get as unwell as I did on the last boat trip I decided to stay on out in the fresh air on the top deck, which was kind of challenging in the big waves. A few times I was clinging to the table and chair hoping for the best 🙂 Still it was a lot better than being confined to the trapped air inside the boat, and best of all no seasickness! On this trip we were dropped off at the dock in Puerto Ayora, making it a short walk home. Basic breakfast and lunch is served on board.