Dec 8, 2011

Ecuador - Galápagos Islands

In the collective imagination, the Galápagos islands remain one of the most magic and even mystical place on earth. The amazing ecosystem was untouched by humankind before the 16th century and the islands were not continuously inhabited until the 19th century! We were so happy to set foot on Batra airport and continue living the dream! :)

Wonderful sunset at Puerto Villamil beach on Isabela Island

Looking at the Cerro Pajas (on the roof of a bus!!)
during a day trip to Floreana island

The archipelago has volcanic origins and the lanscapes can sometimes appear lunar. We hiked for six hours on Isabela island around Sierra Negra and Chico volcanoes. Quite trying and dusty but the panoramas are definitely worth the effort!

Where is Luis?

Chico volcano, Isabela island

Crater of the Sierra Negra volcano, Isabela island

97% of the Galápagos are a national (and thus protected) park. Only four of the 19 islands are inhabited. Mother Nature had plenty of time and space to prosper. In the Galápagos area we are only transient guests, the various animals are the real inhabitants! Actually the stunning fauna sometimes seems to come from another age like the giant turtles or the iguanas.

White-tip shark, Tintoreras Islet

An unusual cohabitation has developed with these unique neighbors. Here are a few examples we observed:

The tourists do not even notice any more the sea lions napping
in Puerto Villamil, Isabela island

Fishermen selling their catchings of the night watched closely by hungry pelicans
in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz island

Lonesome George, the last survivor of the dynasty of land turtoises from Pinta island, Centro de crianza Fausto Llerena, Santa Cruz island

Most of the tourists cruise around the Galápagos islands. We decided to sleep instead on two islands (Santa Cruz and then Isabela islands) and go on day trips, which cost us a third less than a cruise.

For us a few days in the Galápagos islands was a unique way of getting close to wild animals:

Asilo de la paz, Floreana island

Marine turtles welcoming us at Isabela island...

... and a sea lion escorting us!

But the best way to meet some of them is to dive literally!

Mansa beach, Santa Cruz island

Trying snorkelling off the coast of Floreana island

For the local inhabitants, life evolves around tourism and the contraints of living on an island which lead to funny scenes:

How to unload concrete blocks from a boat? 
The answer in Puerto Velasco Ibarro, Floreana island!

Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz island

We are delighted by our time here. Coming to the Galápagos islands is for sure the trip of a lifetime!

Puerto Villamil beach, Isabela island


  1. you do look super, you two, with your snorkles.

    (when are you getting married?)


  2. ca fait rever!
    bises depuis jean rabel, far west d haiti...

  3. Merci aux Almqvist! Le mariage.. mmh, pas prévu sur le planning! ;) Gros bisous à vous deux et au plaisir de vous revoir, à Regnéville ou ailleurs!

  4. Jean Rabel, wouah, ça me rappelle des souvenirs! Axelle, à l'occase, j'aimerais bien avoir le mail d'Olga pour savoir ce qu'elle y fait. Elle bosse pour ID ou la GTZ? A part ça, of course, ça a l'air génial les Galapagos...TROP BIEN!!! Nous avec antoine on est justement en train de penser à notre prochain voyage, entre janvier et mars prochain j'espère: Tunisie, Thaïlande, Népal sont sur la liste, j'ai du mal à me décider!! GROS BISOUS A VOUS DEUX. A bientôt. Claire

  5. Népal!!!!!!!!!! Le reste par email! ;) Gros bisous