We popped over to Isabela Island for a 3 days in between our time in Santa Cruz. I actually like Isabela more than Santa Cruz – although the actual land size of the island is the largest in the Galapagos, the population is the smallest of the inhabited islands. The town we stayed in was really laid back and everything was within a few blocks from the beach. Our hostel was right on the beach though and the views were great! The name was Caleta Iguana and there were iguanas everywhere!
The first day we took it easy and just rented bikes to ride along the ocean out to the Wall of Tears, a wall built by prisoners (super sad story, but beautiful views). We saw some animals along the way.
The next day we went snorkeling! Jen, Brandon and I all agreed it was the coolest part of the trip. The boat ride out was really bumpy!
We saw tons of animals while we were snorkeling including fish, sea horses, a giant turtle, penguins, several different kinds of rays and SHARKS! The sharks liked to hide in caves so our guides had us hold our breath and then they would shove us underwater and into the cave with the sharks. At first it was really freaky but after the 3rd or 4th time, we got used to it 🙂 The underwater shots are all a bit blurry, but you can still see the animals.
We also went to an area formed by lava tunnels that was home to a lot of blue footed boobies. It was mating season so the males kept puffing up and dancing around the females.
For our last day on the island, we went hiking to 2 volcanoes. The first one has one of the largest craters in the world, but unfortunately was pretty foggy. The second was really interesting as we hiked across lava flows and checked out the different rock from the different eruptions. We hiked for almost 6 hours and the first and last 30 minutes were through mud several inches thick – good thing we rented giant boots!