After our recent adventure on the Cotopaxi volcano, I have a newfound respect for mountaineers. Though I had suspected it before, now I also know that mountaineering will probably not become my newest hobby.

If you are spending some time independently in the Galapagos, that is to say, not with a tour, you will want to go to Las Grietas. There are day tours that will take you here, of course, but where’s the adventure in that? Also, it’s free and I will tell you how to get there, as will the Lonely Planet.

It is estimated that there are less than 500 flamingos throughout the Galapagos archipelago. They can be found on several islands, and we were very lucky to be able to observe them on 3 different occasions on Isabela and Santa Cruz. Flamingos feed in shallow brackish water or saline lagoons and must be approached with extreme care, especially during their breeding season from May-August. They lay one egg and can live up to 40 years, which is quite long for… Read more »

After an hour on the bus from Latacunga, we arrived in Zumbahua, a tiny Andean village about 17 kilometers south of Quilotoa. We hired a pickup truck for a few bucks per person to take us and 3 other backpackers the rest of the way. Foreigners must also pay another $2 to enter the park. The village of Quilotoa itself is not much to write home about. Just a jumble of ramshackle hostales and a very sleepy artisans market. Since… Read more »

When staying on Isla Isabela in the Galapagos, I took a walk at sunrise one morning on Playa Grande and ran into this little dude. Marine iguanas spend mornings feeding on algae in the sea and afternoons on land, sunning themselves and expelling salt through their nostrils with little sneezes. He was the only one in sight, so I guess he was trying to get a head start on the others. As with most of the fauna in the Galapagos,… Read more »

Imagine my surprise and delight when I spotted a huge, yellow, scaly land iguana out the window! We would see many more of these fascinating reptiles throughout our time in the Galapagos, but the first one was certainly the most impressive.