Galapagos Bird watching (Land Based)
Santa Cruz island has 986 square kilometers (380 sq-mi) and a maximum altitude of 864 meters (2,835 ft). It has an approximate populations of 18,000 people who live mostly around Puerto Ayora and some in Santa Rosa, which is like a farming community in the highlands. We can visit the following places depending on which tour you take: Charles Darwin Research Station, Tortuga Bay, also some higher altitude places like Los Gemelos (sink holes), Media Luna, and the Natural Sanctuary for Giant Tortoises.
Isabela island with 4,640 square kilometers (1,790 sq-mi) is the largest of all which resulted from the fusion of six large volcanoes. The maximum altitude is 1,707 meters (5,600 ft) at volcano Wolf, which also lies in the equatorial line. This is considered one of the most volcanically active places in the world with a 12 km massive caldera at volcano Sierra Negra. It has a small population of about 2200 people. We stayed in Puerto Villamil, where we racked up some of the best photographs on our trip and was our favorite of all the islands. Together we will visit: Sierra Negra volcano, Baltazar inland wetlands, white sandy beaches, Concha perla, Las Tintoreras, and the Giant Toroise Breeding Center.
In San Cristobal (Chatham) we stay at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is the capital of the Galapagos Province. This Island is 558 sq-km (215 sq-mi) and has an approximate population of 10,000 people. This is the only place where you can see the Chathman Mokingbird and also is the only place where we saw the Swallow-tailed Gull. We will visit Tijeretas Hill, Beach of Love, The Loberia Beach, El Junco Lake, Playa Puerto Chino.
A visit to Floreana includes a visit to the highlands in search of the Medium Tree Finch which is endemic to this island. The Floreana Mockingbird can only be seen at an island nearby and would require special arrangements.
Here are some of the wonderful pictures that we managed to take on our first birding land based tour of the Archipelago Galapagos.
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