Galapagos Islands – Central & East with Quito

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Quito, Ecuador

The Galapagos islands are located approx 1,000 km off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific, the only way to get there is to fly from mainland Ecuador – from either Quito or Guayaquil.  In my case, it was Quito.  The highest capital city in the world, it sits at 2,850 m (9,350 ft) above sea level, and is also the closest capital city to the equator.  Read more – Quito, Ecuador

Tandayapa Cloud Forest – Birds, birds & more birds

For my second day in Quito, I decided to get out of the city.  I signed up for a “Bird Photo Tour” that would take me north west of the city, to the Tandayapa Cloud Forest Reserve.   Read more – Tandayapa

Galapagos Islands – Baltra & Mosquera Islet

My trip to the Galapagos was “West, Central and East Islands”; 7 nights aboard the Monserrat.  In the west – Isabela; the East – South Plaza, Santa Cruz & San Cristobal and central – Santiago, Chinese Hat, Baltra, Rabida & North Seymour.  I was particularly excited to go to Isabela, this is where the largest populations of Galapagos penguins can be found.  Read more – Baltra & Mosquera Islet

Galapagos Islands – Seymour Norte & Plaza Sur

This was supposed to have been the day on Isabella Island.  Instead, we went ever so slightly north to Seymour Norte (North Seymour) in the morning and then south-east to Plaza Sur (South Plaza) in the afternoon.  Read more – North Seymour & South Plaza

Galapagos Islands – Sombrero Chino & Rabida

After yesterday’s deviation from our planned course we are back on track – busy day today!  Our longest sailing yet, from South Plaza north west to Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat).  Chinese Hat is a tiny island (less than .25 square km in size) that sits off the south-east tip of Santiago Island.  It’s easy to see where it gets it’s name from…  Read more – Sombrero Chino & Rabida

Galapagos Islands – Puerto Egas & Bucanero Cove

To the north-west of Chinese Hat & Rabida sits Santiago Island.  It’s 226 square miles and almost 3,000 feet at it’s highest point.  According to the GPS on my camera, we were at 14 min 47 seconds S, which is just under 15 nautical miles south of the equator and the closest we came to it.  Read more – Puerto Egas & Bucanero Cove

Galapagos Islands – Caleta Tortuga Negra & Santa Cruz Highlands

An early start this day; up at 5 to say goodbye to the gang leaving today.  Once they were gone, we climbed aboard the panga and, with Sausimo at the helm and the Monserrat following behind, we set off for Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove).  Read more – Caleta Tortuga Negra & Santa Cruz Highlands

Galapagos Islands – Plaza Sur & Santa Fe

For some of us this day was the 2nd landing on South Plaza (due to the schedule change) but that didn’t stop me from taking pictures! Earlier in the week the guides had told us that, much like a diver uses a dive belt and weights, the larger sea lions swallow rocks to weight them down and allow them to dive deeper.   Read more – Plaza Sur & Santa Fe

Galapagos Islands – Punta Pitt, La Galapaguera, San Cristobal and NY Eve in Quito

San Cristobal Island, at 215 square miles,  is the 5th largest in the archipelago, the closest to the mainland, the 2nd most populated and our last stop.  One of the oldest of the islands geologically, all of the volcanoes on the island are now extinct and it is one of the few islands where you can see giant tortoises actually in the wild.  Read more – Punta Pitt, La Galapaguera…