Iguanas were great. There are land and marine varieties. The land are usually a sandy orangish color, but sometime they are black too. The Marine Iguanas are black and blend with the lava. When they molt they have red, orange, green colors on their backs. Watching them swim was cool. You can get up close and personal with the iguanas. They will be everywhere and you really have to watch where you are stepping.
There are lots of birds. Red Footed Boobies, Blue Footed Boobies, Masked Boobies, brown pelicans, every kind of Finch you can think of, and I could go on with Herons, oyster eaters, sand birds, frigates , blah, blah, blah. This is a Birders paradise.
The sea lions were the best and especially fun while snorkeling. They are curious and playful. The sea life had lots of colorful fish, sharks, rays, and even penguins. The water was colder this time of year and the sea life is more abundant. However this is where I was disappointed. I was expecting more. This was prime season for the marine life in the Galapagos and is was great but let a little something to be desired. The story of the Galapagos and the struggle to survive here does explain much of that. Now I swam with sharks several times, sea turtles were common, sea lions were AMAZING and fun. so where is the disappointment… The fish. There were many types and in places I saw hundreds. The colorful fish were limited. Some were great, even schools of fish large and small, but I wanted more.
Of course the giant tortoises were great. We had two stops on different island that had them. They are quite large and pretty impressive. We stopped at two reserves and saw many along the road and even a few in the road. They do have many varieties and I do not know them all.
Many of the things I saw were unique to the Galápagos. Certainly many of the species were only living here. Life here is a challenge for the animals and hence the animals are typically smaller than counterparts elsewhere. The highlands can be moist, but most shorelines are bare and rocky. We are in the dry season so much of the trees and plants are bare or brown. I have seen the pictures with both the green and the barren. There is a stark difference. I though the sea life was most important for me so we came this time of year. It did not make the grade compared to the Caribbean or Hawaiian waters which are warmer and have more life sans the sea lions. They were the highlight. Moms and pups together and snorkeling with the sea lions was fantastic. Getting close to almost all the animals was outstanding and probably won't happen anywhere else in the world. I came, I saw, I was amazed at times, I wanted to be astounded.
Am I supposed to rave about every destination I visit? Does everything get less fantastic as you see more? What is the meaning of life? Things to ponder as I continue my journey...
Two days later - I have pondered. The snorkeling I was expecting did not happen. This is the time of year where the ocean provides nutrients and the sea life is supposed to be abundant. It was fair to good, but it did not the outstanding fish variety I expected. It did have other marine life that was exceptional - sharks, turtles, a number of fish and the sea lions were fantastic. The Birders were happy, even ecstatic, with the birds, but the wet season is probably a better time of year. It would be hotter but greener and the land animals would be more abundant. I would check on the sea lions to make sure they would join you on a swim. They were a truly the high light on land and in the ocean.
My photo and blog site for my 2016 travels and beyond
P.S. If you go to the destination page and click the link to locations, I share additional pictures from each trip