Also known as the Darwin Islands, the islands are 1000km from the mainland. Being so far away from everything, it is possible to see the species unique to the region naturally only here. When we first started to approach the island by plane, I thought, where are so many species in this desert? I think the most striking aspect of the Galapagos is this contrast. Many species live in the drought of the volcanic island. I stayed on Santa Cruz Island during my visit to the Galapagos Islands.
Since the distance between the islands is long and expensive, it would be a logical choice to come to Santa Cruz and return from San Cristóbal. Baltra Airport in Santa Cruz was used by the Americans during World War II. This airport is actually on an island right next to Santa Cruz. Such a place was chosen to preserve the ecological balance. This was the most minimal and nature-friendly airport I’ve ever seen. In order not to disturb the ecological balance of the island, the suitcases are checked both before boarding the plane from Ecuador and upon landing in the Galapagos.
A trained wolfhound in the Galapagos did this by sniffing all the suitcases. I still don’t understand how he sniffed and checked my hard plastic suitcase. When we went from the airport to Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, we were passing through 3 different climate zones. Desert, tropics and subtropics. As we hired a private vehicle, we stopped at Los Gemelos to watch the scenery on our way from the airport to the city. Los Gemelos is actually two large craters that were formed not as a result of a volcanic event, but as a result of collapse. Since it is in the highest part of the island, the climate and vegetation are quite tropical.
After this stop, we went to Reserva El Chato, where there are lava tunnels and giant turtles. According to our guide, the turtles here saw World War II. I likened the eyes of turtles to the eyes of the dead in Game of Thrones. Taking pictures inside the shells of dead turtles before leaving here is an indispensable tourist attraction. After going to our hotels, we arrived at Tortuga Bay after a long walk. The cacti lined up along the road became so gigantic that their trunks turned into pine tree trunks. In other words, it is possible to hug a cactus without pain in this life!
Tortuga Bay is a very beautiful beach with its color and length. I laughed so hard at iguanas everywhere, unexpectedly. I think they have a very funny sunbathing. Head up, neck straight. This must be proud sunbathing 🙂 They also have a habit of sunbathing in groups. Why? I didn’t see any turtles in Tortuga Bay, so the name should be changed to Iguana Bay. Every dark on the beach could be an iguana. After going all the way to Tortuga Bay, it was good to swim in the lagoon at the back. There was someone here who rented a standing paddle board, which I couldn’t understand.
Since there is nothing else around, water etc. on the way to Tortuga Bay, one must proceed cautiously. Bartolome Island
Since this is Darwin’s islands, Darwin also named the islands after his friends. Bartolomé was one of Darwin’s besties. Bartolomé Island was a very interesting place in terms of landform. Because the lava eruption was underwater, lots of tiny bubbles on the surrounding rocks turned into holes and the underwater plants turned into cactus-like land plants. There was an interesting contrast of blue and brown here.
I think the most beautiful aspect of the Galapagos is their attitude of not being afraid of people, which is caused by the fact that the creatures are under protection and not hunted. They are very comfortable and they are everywhere. For example, when I passed a pelican, he looked at me in the same way I looked at him with curiosity. Seals are everywhere. As if they were the original inhabitants of the island. Sleeping on the bench at the port in Puerto Ayora was one of the most interesting images to me. He found comfort, there is no need for fishing. The bench is also comfortable! There were even bridge closures on Isabela Island. It is possible to see blue-footed bobby, flamingo, turtle, pelican, shark, dolphin, penguin, seal and colorful fish on Isabela Island.
Male seals make very wild and strange sounds. Whenever I remember that moment of joyful swimming penguin that comes next to me, I feel that moment inside me. Observing the water turtles sticking out their heads to breathe, finding their homes and witnessing the moment when they gossip at the bottom of the water for minutes is one of the moments that I can’t get enough of. Pinzón Island, on the other hand, is an untouched island. The rock formations and color transitions I saw on my way there were fascinating.