Our last day on the island of Isabela brought us to Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake. Tagus Cove is a protected inlet that has provided shelter to sailors, explorers, and cocktail campers for over 300 years. Darwin anchored here in 1835. Darwin Lake is a caldera (cooking pot) formed by a tidal wave after a volcanic eruption on the neighboring island, Fernandina. Darwin Lake is slightly above sea level and twice a salty as sea water.
Our journey took us from Isabela to Santiago island. We enjoyed a glass-bottom boat ride along the island’s coast line and hiking at Puerto Egas.
Our visit to Santiago included a walk along the coast of Puerto Egas. Puerto Egas, named after Hector Egas, was the location of a salt mining company in the 1920s and then the 1960s. Humans attempted, unsuccessfully, to colonize the island in the 1930s and introduced domestic livestock like donkeys, goats, and pigs. Rats and mice also came along for the adventure. The livestock and rodents destroyed much of the native plant and wildlife. Today, thanks to conservationists and eradication efforts, Santiago has been pig-free since 2000 and donkey and goat free since 2006. The endemic flora and fauna, once again, have an opportunity to flourish.
The final days of our fantastic voyage were spent exploring the island of San Cristobal, one of the oldest geologically in the archipelago. It is also home to the capital of the Galapagos province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. We hiked and swam at Punta Pitt and snorkeled around Leon Dormido, so named because it resembles a sleeping lion.
We finished our last day in the Galapagos with a snorkel and swim around Leon Dormido aka Kicker Rock. This is a 459-foot volcanic rock that is best place for seeing sharks (we saw one young Galapagos shark) and rays (we saw a school of spotted eagle rays). Joanna and I also enjoyed floating on our backs through the channel taking in the other-worldliness of this rock formation. It was a perfect way to complete our most magical journey to Las Islas Galapagos!