Western Islands - Day 4: Isabela / Fernandina
Today you begin your exploration of Isabela, the largest and one of the most intriguing islands in the entire Galapagos archipelago. It is comprised of 6 volcanoes, 2 of which are still active. The most recent eruption of Cerro Azul was in 1999. Punta Vicente Roca is a promontory with two protected coves on either side. Due to its location in one of the richest of all marine habitats, snorkeling here will reward you with opportunities to see a wide variety of sealife such as red-lipped batfish, sea horses, frogfish, nudibranches, and octopi. It is also common to sea dolphin pods as well as sea lions. A Zodiac ride along the rugged coast will allow you to observe Noddies, pelicans, Galapagos penguins, and flightless cormorants. From May to December, the whale-watching opportunities are at their peak in these waters. Return to the yacht for lunch and repositioning to your next destination, the neighboring island of Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine Island in Galapagos. Keep your eyes peeled for whales and dolphins which are often spotted in the cold waters of the Bolivar Channel. Your visit is to Punta Espinoza, where recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in Galapagos, bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Here you carefully observe sea lion harems with resident bulls jealously guarding their territory. Flightless cormorants, one of the most unique of Galapagos species, build their nests on the point and Galapagos hawks soar overhead, and Galapagos penguins hurl themselves into the water to feed.