The ride from Puerto Ayora to Isabela was an average one, not very bumpy, we had got the morning ferry but the ride other way round after 2 days was rather tumultuous. As soon as we disembarked the ferry we were greeted by a male marine iguana basking in the sun and a few sea lions again. We had booked the Albermarle beach hotel http://www.hotelalbemarle.com for our stay in Isabela and the view from the hotel roof top and balcony was simply spectacular.
PANORAMIC VIEW FROM THE HOTEL ROOFTOP
The island has got its own laid back charm. The population is around 2000 people. It was as if we had nothing to do with the rest of the world for 2 full days. The beach itself was practically empty except for a couple of people sunbathing. Baby marine iguanas were running around everywhere. After checking in the hotel we went to the tortoise breeding centre of Isabela. We took a taxi which dropped us in front of the flamingo lagoon , there were not too many of them but still a pretty sight. From there it was pleasant hike to the breeding centre. There were hundreds of tortoises there, most of them were babies and juveniles. They are kept in an enclosed area similar to their natural habitat and given constant care and after a few years returned to the wild. This gives them head start and a better chance of survival in the wild.
There are hiking trails leading from outside the breeding centre to the iguana crossing hotel. And we saw flamingoes again and a few more marine iguanas lazily lying around. While coming back to the hotel we went to the rosedelco tour company http://www.rosedelco.com.ec to book our next day trip to Tintoreras.
Tintoreras – The Tintoreras was a very short and pleasant yacht ride from Puerto Villamil. There was an English speaking naturalist guide with us. There are three parts in this tour.
1. They showed us around the rocky areas where we saw a blue footed booby on the lava rocks and pelicans perched on mangrove trees. We were lucky enough to see a Galápagos penguin who was very camera shy and just refused to face the camera. Their small size is due to negative evolution because of the Galapagos climate. They are monogamous through out their lifetime which is such a cute and adorable trait, don’t u think. Generally they live in colonies, but we got to see only one. There were quite a few manta rays and sea turtles thru out the entire ride and the Sierra Negra volcano was visible at a distance.
2. After disembarking the yacht we went for a hike to see what we had gone to see in tintoreras , yes the tintoreras (sharks) themselves!! These are white tipped reef sharks swimming around in very shallow crystal clear waters in a crevice. So the visibility is excellent. And boy!! There were hundreds of them and adult ones this time. They looked gorgeous gliding effortlessly. Marine iguanas and some male big ones were there on the lava rocks through out the hike. Their evolution theory is a wonder by itself. Though they portray quite an aggressive appearance they are totally harmless, feeding on the algae of the sea.
3. The last part of the trip was the snorkelling part where u get to see lots of colourful fish and a few sea turtles.