In Darwin’s Footsteps, the Galápagos Islands

Our flight left Quito at a silly hour in the morning, but that meant we arrived in the Galápagos Islands by 9 AM.  We decided to explore the islands from the land, rather than cruise ship, as this cut our costs significantly.  So, our first stop was Santa Cruz island, one of the largest and home to the biggest town, Puerto Ayora. We started with a hike to the twin craters formed by the collapse of a magma chamber and followed this with a walk through a lava tube and a visit to a private ranch with a giant tortoise habitat, where we saw half a dozen of these incredible creatures.

  

Inside a lava tube 

 

Our lodge was home to sea lions and marine iguanas, who came right onto the deck, and lots of birds.

   

   

  

Sea kayaking was our next challenge, one we all enjoyed.  Boy was less enthused about our snorkeling expedition, though he did like spotting a school of fish in the wild.  Sharks he was less excited about.

  

Boat travel was up next as we moved to Isabela island, the next largest where we hiked a volcano and did a bit more snorkeling.

Back to Santa Cruz, we stopped at the Charles Darwin research center to see the baby tortoises at the breeding center.

  

School work this week was hands on learning, meaning we spent lots of time learning about animals in their natural habitats while discussing Charles Darwin.  We also calculated the circumference of the volcanic craters as we hiked.  We did get in some reading time, though.  Here are a few of our books:

 

And our school room:

 

  

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