Each island of the Galápagos surprises me more than the one before, and the best part about visiting the archipelago is finding out what makes each island unique. After two weeks of classes and host family bonding on San Cristóbal Island, we headed to Santa Cruz on a speedboat and began our much-anticipated week of island-hopping.
Santa Cruz is the commercial center of the Galápagos and comprises a large portion of the islands’ population. With lots of shops, restaurants, and discotecas, Santa Cruz packs a lot into one island, while still maintaining that small town, Galápagos feel.
We traveled in style to the islands of Bartolomé and Santiago on Wednesday, enjoying the view of the Pacific Ocean from the front of our yacht. On the islands, we saw smooth, swirly pahoehoe lava formations, white sand beaches, and starfish, sharks, and sea turtles while snorkeling.
After reaching the island of Isabela on Thursday morning, we took a tour of Tintoreras, where we saw whitetip sharks, baby iguanas, and even Galápagos penguins. Because of the currents coming from the west and the south toward the islands, the Galápagos penguins thrive in the cold waters, and are the only penguins that live north of the equator.
So far every island has held new surprises. I can’t wait to see what our last three days here in the Galápagos have in store for us!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I'm a sophomore from a small Midwestern university with one hand on my notebook and pen, and the other on "the big picture." As an International Studies major with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and a student writer on campus, I love using my writing to connect the dots between my own life and the lives of people across the globe. I explore, I discover, I observe--and then I write.</span></p>