Taking a morning flight into the Galapagos, we were really excited and not quite sure what to expect… except for animals, and lots of it.
Props to the Ecuador government for making attempts at controlling the environmental damage tourists can do to such a special geological area. They screened even more stringently than American customs, and the whole island itself seems to be controlled (for the most part) to avoid contamination or deterioration of the natural environment… to an extent. And right before you land, even the airlines are required to spray insecticide (?) to avoid accidentally bringing in any more foreign species.
When we arrived, we were pretty shocked at what we saw…. it was a massive, barren piece of land! Somehow we both imagined the Galapagos Islands to be full of lush vegetation with animals hopping around everywhere. Nope, just a strangely barren piece of land. That being said, the airport was built there for a purpose, and we had to take a bus out to the dock where you had to take a ferry about 300m across the channel to the mainland. A 45min taxi ride later, we got into town….and wow, what another surprise! The town feels a bit run down, and is plagued with travel agencies and dive shops like any other city. We were really expecting something with a bit more class, conservation and much much higher prices!
The cool part though, is that animals are EVERYWHERE! We were walking along the pier, wondering where we’d be able to see some sea lions, and right there IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PIER, a sea lion is just taking a nap. Ha ha…so cool. Iguanas, crabs, fish and even rays are abundant along the waters along the shoreline. So, very cool =)
At night, we had dinner at a street market. And the prices were cheaper than most places we’ve been to!!!! IN THE GALAPAGOS!!!!