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Galapagos Islands

Imagine a place where time seems to stand still, where black ropey lava fields clash against the cerulean waves of the ocean, giving rise to a myriad of islands, each more unique than the last. Welcome to the Galápagos, a haven for creatures as ancient as they are rare. Journey with me as I recount my extraordinary adventure across these enchanting isles, where every turn offers a new vista, and each encounter brings you face-to-face with nature’s marvels. From the moment my feet touched the islands’ shores to the last wistful glance back, these are the stories of a land as untamed as it is unforgettable.


My journey began with a relatively short 4.5-hour flight from Tampa to Guayaquil, via Miami—a smooth start to what would be an epic adventure. To my pleasant surprise, there was a Lindblad representative at the gate in Miami, ensuring that those of us connecting to the Galápagos were well cared for—a testament to the company’s thoroughness and attention to detail.

Upon landing in Guayaquil, I realized that Jon and Laura, who had been sitting right in front of me during the flight, were also headed on the same Lindblad journey. We hit it off immediately, finding common ground in our shared excitement and wonder about the trip ahead, and it was clear that we would become fast friends.

In Guayaquil, we were warmly greeted by additional Lindblad representatives who made every part of the arrival and check-in process feel effortless. They escorted us to the Hotel Oro Verde, where comfort was king. The hotel boasted a heated outdoor pool, a fully equipped gym, and several dining options, providing a perfect place to relax and recharge. After a satisfying dinner and an early night, we geared up for an early departure the next morning. With our spirits high and minds buzzing with anticipation, we headed off to bed filled with dreams of the adventures that lay ahead.


The day began with a generous breakfast buffet at the hotel, graciously provided free of charge. By 8:15 AM, we were smoothly transitioning to our charter flight to Baltra in the Galápagos Islands. The Lindblad team meticulously managed EVERYTHING for our flight—they checked our bags, printed our airline tickets, pre-purchased our national park passes, provided security forms, and escorted us all the way to airport security. I received a lot of questions from friends and family who were concerned about safety in Guayaquil, but I was happy to report that Lindblad left no stone unturned in ensuring everyone felt safe on this trip, including providing police escorts for the airport transfers an extra precaution that underscored their commitment to safety.. Their handling of it all was especially comforting to me as a young, solo female traveler, making me feel secure and well-cared-for throughout.

Upon boarding our charter flight, I met sisters Lindsey and Brooke and was pleasantly surprised to meet so many fellow travelers in their thirties. We quickly bonded over shared interests and excitement. Once we landed, the expedition staff met us outside the baggage claim area and showed us to the shuttle buses for a brief 5-minute ride to the pier. Here, we boarded zodiacs for a short transfer to our floating home, the National Geographic Endeavour II. I spent the first moments onboard exploring the ship, and in the lounge, I befriended two more peers, Nick & Julie, who had an intriguing story of meeting on a previous trip in India.

After everyone was onboard and settled in, we convened for lunch in the dining room, followed by an orientation briefing in the lounge. The briefing detailed what to expect during our journey, emphasizing the strict conservation protocols of the Galápagos—similar to those in Antarctica. For instance, only 100 people could land at each site at any time, and we were always to be escorted or within eyesight of a naturalist. We were also reminded that NO food could be brought onto the islands and only water was allowed. Don’t worry, they feed you a lot on the ship, and there are always snacks available onboard.

We also learned about the rigorous procedures for cleaning off sand, dirt, or other contaminants when disembarking and re-boarding the ship, crucial for protecting the pristine environment of the islands. After our briefing, we loaded back up in the zodiacs and made our way to “Las Bachas” on Santa Cruz Island for our initial wet landing, where the zodiacs brought us close to the shore, and we stepped out into shallow waters. A wet landing is where the zodiacs are pulled up as close to the beach as possible and you disembark the zodiac stepping out into anywhere from ankle to about shin deep water, as a opposed to a dry landing, where the zodiac pulls and you get off onto dry land (no getting your feet wet). 

I was in a zodiac with my new friends Jon & Laura, and we had our amazing naturalist Ramiro explaining the process of sea turtle nesting, the survival rate of sea turtles (only about 1 in 1,000), and drawing out in the sand the path a sea turtle usually takes on the currents worldwide and how they find their way back to nest exactly where they were born, despite traveling thousands of miles away. Las Bachas this time of year is known for its sea turtle nests, and we were lucky (not so lucky for the baby sea turtles) to see a few babies in a nest just hatching… that is until the frigate birds saw they came out early before sunset and started swooping in to snatch them out of their nest to eat. It was truly a National Geographic moment/experience but also was a bit sad and hard to watch, but as the naturalists said, “that’s nature.” 

After not being able to watch the sea turtles being eaten any longer, we took a short walk over the dunes back to a little lagoon where we saw a Black Necked Stilt Bird nesting and tons of bright red crabs along the black lava rocks. This was only our first landing, and we had only been in the Galápagos a few hours at this point—what a start to the trip! We then relaxed on the beach a little, watching the sunset before taking the last zodiac back to the ship to quickly transition to the captain’s cocktail party and dinner later that evening.


The day kicked off with an early wakeup call at 6:15 AM by our expedition leader Gabby, who woke us up every morning with a reminder it was time for breakfast and our first activity. This morning offered two options: a dry landing on North Seymour Island for a loop hike or a Zodiac exploration along the cliffs of North Seymour, involving no landing. I chose the hike, which was more of a leisurely 1.2-mile walk taking 2 hours, punctuated by frequent stops to admire the abundant wildlife and to absorb our naturalist Pato’s insights on the island’s history and its inhabitants. Pato, known for his collection of fun Blue-Footed Booby socks and other animal-themed attire—which many of us ended up buying—shared fascinating tidbits throughout our stroll. We encountered land iguanas and lizards, spotted various birds, and excitedly made our first sighting of Blue-Footed Boobies. Pato offered an intriguing fun fact: land iguanas could outpace Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt in a 50-meter dash! He also explained that Blue-Footed Boobies’ feet turn blue about 2-3 years into their sexual maturity, a coloration directly influenced by their sardine diet—the bluer their feet, the healthier they are.

By 9:30 AM, we returned via Zodiacs to the ship for a mandatory safety briefing, which included instructions on snorkeling and fitting our snorkeling gear. Meanwhile, the captain repositioned our vessel towards Rabida Island as we enjoyed lunch onboard. After lunch, the children onboard participated in their first National Geographic Global Explorers session. They were introduced to their field notebooks, filled with tons of pictures, wildlife facts, and spaces for notes—these would guide their activities throughout the sailing and help them earn points for prizes. It was great to see the onboard meetings and activities that were child-focused, but I must admit, even the adults, including myself, felt a twinge of envy, particularly when the kids later earned their Zodiac driving licenses! Especially when we saw them whipping around the ship out in the water having a blast, but more on those activities later!

At the same time as The Global Explorer sessions, the adults gathered for an introductory photography presentation by Christian, a Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor, who equipped us with tips for capturing the perfect shots during our adventures. I also seized the opportunity to visit the bridge, observing the crew expertly navigating and anchoring the ship near the shore.

By 3 PM, we made our second landing of the day—a wet landing on Rabida Island. The island’s beach, composed of sand made from lava, high in iron oxide, shone with a striking red hue, giving it an almost Martian appearance. Here, we tested our snorkeling gear in the unique setting, exploring the vibrant underwater world just off the beach. After our snorkeling session, we changed out of our gear, which included shorty wetsuits, fins, masks & snorkels, then headed back out for a sunset walk along the red sand beach and the lagoon behind it. The lagoon hosted a group of flamingos, just putzing around, but when we came back out, we enjoyed watching the sea lions as the sun set. The sunsets here were truly breathtaking, and no photograph could fully capture their beauty.

As dusk fell, we returned to the ship for a quick shower before the nightly cocktail hour (yes, drinks are included in your cruise fare), a recap of the day, and a nightly briefing on the following day’s schedule. Little did we know, this evening held a surprise: we learned that due to March’s volcanic eruption on Fernandina Island, our itinerary was adjusted to allow us to view lava entering the ocean the next evening. What an unexpected thrill!

Dinner followed, and at 8:45 PM, we settled into the lounge for a video presentation of David Attenborough’s “Galapagos – Chapter 1: Origin.” It was the perfect end to a day filled with natural wonders. Soon after, we retired to our cabins, ready for another early start the following day, eager for more adventures that awaited us.


Another 6:15 AM wakeup call from Gabby, our ever-diligent expedition leader, announcing that Wellness Specialist, Diana, was leading a morning stretching session on the observation deck. I’m not much of a morning person, but my new friend Jon attended and reported that it was very relaxing and suitable for everyone. Following breakfast, which was served at 6:45 AM, we promptly made a dry landing on the rocky shores of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island by 7:45 AM. As we approached the island on our Zodiac, we could see a large cloud of smoke billowing from the volcano on the opposite side of the island, a reminder of the dynamic forces at play in the Galápagos. Don’t worry, the island is big and we were in no danger, as we were a considerable distance away.

Our guide for the morning was Omar, a knowledgeable naturalist who explained the history of this “young” lava field—just over a hundred years old. There were Marine Iguanas EVERYWHERE, blending seamlessly into the black lava rocks. We also spotted a small snake, several sea lions, and a few sea turtles trapped in tidal pools, swimming back and forth just waiting for the tide to rise. A poignant highlight was stumbling upon a large set of whale bones in the middle of the path, which Omar mentioned had been there for as long as he could remember, as he grew up in the Galapagos and saw it as a young kid and was told it had been here long before then.  Omar also shared that the Galápagos is unique in that it’s the only place where Marine Iguanas gather socially rather than for mating or feeding, which is uncommon in other regions of the world.

In the ropy black lava, several plaques from the National Park Service marked significant dates on the geologic history of the island, indicating the growth and shifts of the land. For those who opted out of the walk, there was a morning Zodiac ride, and at 11 AM, a documentary was shown in the lounge for non-snorkelers.

Following the nature walk, we prepared for our first deep-water snorkeling session off the zodiacs which departed at 11am. My new friends Brooke and Lindsey from Washington State agreed to take me on as their snorkeling buddy since everyone has to have a buddy in the water. Despite their reassurance about the water temperature, as a native Floridian, the 78-degree water felt quite chilly to me, but I managed to stay in for the entire session. We were thrilled to see an abundance of sea turtles, various fish, swimming Marine Iguanas, a small shark, and playful sea lions that frolicked around us in the water. Not going to lie by the time we got out I was getting pretty cold, as a born and raised Floridian, I, much like the Marine Iguanas only last for short periods of time in the cold water before needing to warm back up in the sun on land haha This was the warmest water we snorkeled in the rest of the trip and it was 78 degrees (so they said, but the water always seemed colder).

After warming up with a quick hot shower, we regrouped for lunch. The afternoon was filled with activities: the Global Explorers (kids on board) toured the Bridge, while adults attended a smartphone photography presentation by Christian, our photo instructor. The ship was positioned close to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago, which accounts for over half of the Galápagos’ total land area. During some leisure time, I joined Laura, Jon, Brooke, and Lindsey on the observation deck, enjoying the view of a collapsed caldera and a shipwreck on the rocky shore below.

By 3:15 PM, we embarked on a Zodiac ride along the coast of Punta Vicente Roca,  Isabela Island. Our guide, Ramiro, and Zodiac driver, Jorge, provided insightful commentary on the island’s geology and brought us up close to some penguins and into a small cave. We had views of two of Isabela’s five volcanoes, including Wolf Volcano, the highest point in the archipelago and recently noted for the discovery of a new species of Pink Land Iguanas.

As we approached the cliffs with the shipwreck, Ramiro explained that it was a local tourist boat whose anchor broke at night, resulting in a crash. Fortunately, everyone was rescued, but the boat remains stuck there and the boat company is responsible for its cleanup and removal. 

After our adventurous Zodiac ride, we returned to the ship for a wine tasting event on the observation deck as we crossed the equator. Each of us received a commemorative pin celebrating our crossing, and the staff whimsically held up an imaginary “line” for us to limbo under as we watched another beautiful sunset, eagerly anticipating the evening’s special itinerary addition—the lava!

As the captain slowly navigated toward La Cumbre Volcano on the opposite side of Fernandina Island, we gathered in the lounge for more cocktails and appetizers. The evening included a recap and briefing along with an extra presentation on the Lindblad Expedition’s Artisan Fund, which showcased the crafts and items available in the Global Gallery, the onboard shop. This presentation also highlighted the local artists supported by Lindblad through these sales.

Dinner was served as we all anxiously awaited the 9 PM expedition to the Observation Deck to watch the lava flows. Initially, from a distance, the lava appeared as mere bright red dots. However, as we approached, the details became increasingly vivid. As the Observation Deck grew crowded, I opted to visit my new friend, the Captain, in the bridge and borrow his binoculars for a better view from the deck outside the bridge, a spot few others had thought to claim.

We had front row seats to a spectacular show. The naturalists were visibly excited, discussing animatedly as we debated how much closer the captain would venture. Though I can’t recall the exact distance, we got remarkably close—yet safely so. We could see nearly every distinct lava flow and droplets of lava dripping into the ocean, creating plumes of steam as the hot lava met the cold water. As the waves intensified, some crashed high onto the lava, sending fumes billowing into the air. It was the quickest two hours of my life, watching this incredible scene unfold as if from a National Geographic documentary. Overwhelmed by the spectacle, I eventually put my phone away, fully absorbed in the experience, knowing that no camera could truly capture the essence of what my eyes were witnessing.

This was an unforgettable experience, and I must credit the amazing navigational skills of our captain and the commitment of Lindblad to go above and beyond by altering our course to allow us this phenomenal viewing. Notably, there were no other ships in sight from 9-11 PM; when I inquired why, a naturalist explained that some other companies avoid the extra costs of diesel fuel required for such detours. Cheers to Lindblad for prioritizing the guests’ experience, ensuring we could witness this majestic natural event without compromising on safety or ecological considerations.


The day commenced at 8:00 AM with a Zodiac ride to Urbina Bay on Isabela Island, accompanied by our guide Christian. A fascinating detail about Isabela is that it’s uniquely formed by the fusion of six massive shield volcanoes, shaping it into a seahorse silhouette. This island has also been at the forefront of a significant and successful ecological restoration program, known as the Isabela Project, which Lindblad supports. This initiative has revitalized native species that were once on the brink of extinction.

Upon landing, one of the first sights was a playful sea lion performing what seemed like its own morning stretches on some lava rocks. As we embarked on our nature walk, it wasn’t long before we encountered a large tortoise ambling down the path, setting the pace for our exploration. Remarkably, this was just the first of many tortoises we would see, surprising even our naturalist, as this location doesn’t always yield such frequent sightings.

After the walk, we returned to the beach for a refreshing dip in the cool waters and some leisure time before heading back to the ship at 10:30 AM. Once aboard, it was time for the Global Explorers, the younger adventurers among us, to take their Zodiac driving lessons—a session that included one parent for each child and provided heaps of fun. Meanwhile, the adults had about half an hour to freshen up before joining Omar in the lounge for his captivating presentation on the human history of the Galápagos. Omar’s storytelling, infused with dramatic flair, made even the simplest facts enthralling. He memorably began with, “In the Galápagos, animals and plants have two choices… cue dramatic voice DROP DEAD or adapt!” This stark reality, observed by Charles Darwin, was brought to life through Omar’s engaging narrative style.

Later we all met in the dining room for a special Ecuadorian-themed lunch as our onboard hotel manager, Melissa, shared insights into the local cuisine and culture. As we dined, the captain maneuvered the ship toward Tagus Cove, setting the stage for the afternoon’s activities. I opted for kayaking and was paired with Julie in a double kayak, joining all our new friends in a serene paddle around the cove. This tranquil experience was punctuated by encounters with playful sea lions who seemed particularly taken with Lindsey & Brooke, frolicking near their kayak.

After kayaking, we quickly changed into our snorkeling gear for our second deep-water session. The water temperature had dropped significantly, about 10 degrees cooler than the day before, prompting even the staff to consider donning full wetsuits. Opting for a drier experience, I stayed aboard the Zodiac, dipping only my legs into the chilly water while enjoying conversations with Christian, who was supervising the snorkelers.

This just goes to show you can do as much or as little as you’d like, or something in-between. Our group of snorkelers on this outing consisted of Brooke & Lindsey, Jon & Laura (who borrowed a dive hoodie from someone else to help stay warm), and a family of four whose youngest daughter, probably around 7 years old, even braved the cold water!

Following snorkeling, the day concluded with a brisk hike for those who chose the sunset “fast-paced” uphill hike to the rim of Darwin Lake, which offered spectacular views over the crater lake and our ship anchored in the cove below. For those who didn’t opt to go on the hike, there was the option of a more relaxed sunset Zodiac ride. Then it was back onboard for everyone with another quick turnaround before the evening festivities began with a cocktail hour and a daily recap. A highlight was the presentation of Lindblad-Nat Geo Zodiac Drivers Licenses to the Global Explorers, by the Captain himself, complete with special commemorative hats, and a briefing on the next day’s schedule.

Dinner was served in the dining room, where the adults relished various dishes while the Global Explorers enjoyed a Pizza Movie night in the lounge—an enviable treat! The day was a perfect blend of adventure, education, and community engagement, epitomizing the enriching experience that Lindblad strives to offer on every expedition.


Today’s exploration centered around Santiago Island, beginning early with two optional walks at Espumilla Beach at 6:15 AM. Participants could choose between a photography-focused walk with Christian or a traditional natural history walk. Opting for a bit more rest, I slept in until 8:00 AM and joined the group for breakfast as they returned to reposition to Buccaneer’s Cove.

My morning unfolded leisurely until 10:30 AM, when my group was called for paddleboarding/kayaking in the cove. Meanwhile, other guests participated in a glass bottom boat tour or went snorkeling, taking advantage of the diverse activities offered. I spent some time at the Global Gallery engaging in a bit of onboard shopping, where the Purser, Juan Pablo, and I became quite acquainted as I ventured up there a few more times looking around and debating over various gifts I ended up buying. 

Paddleboarding in Buccaneer’s Cove, once a hideout for pirates and notably where Charles Darwin spent a significant amount of time on land during his explorations, was nothing short of spectacular. The backdrop of towering cliffs adorned with birds, caves, and sea grottos created a dramatic setting, with beaches scattered between where sea lions lounged under the sun.

After reuniting on board for lunch, everyone shared their morning experiences. Jon & Laura recounted their early walk and subsequent snorkeling adventure, while Brooke & Lindsey described their kayaking and snorkeling experiences. The afternoon brought a session with Christian, who fielded photography questions in the lounge, and a talk by naturalist Vanessa on Charles Darwin, which provided deeper insights into his time on these islands.

Meanwhile, the younger explorers, our Global Explorers, gathered in the Library for a creative session called “Fashion A Fish,” where they crafted various fish, later displayed during the evening’s recap. Opting for relaxation, Brooke, Lindsey, Laura, Jon, and I chose to enjoy some mid-day beers on the observation deck, soaking in more sun and camaraderie.

At 3:30 PM, we embarked on a nature walk at Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, returning afterward to the beach to savor the surroundings more fully as other passengers returned to the ship. For those less inclined toward the nature walk, relaxing on the beach was a welcome alternative.

As the day transitioned into the evening, the crew went all out, hosting an open-air BBQ on the observation deck. With tables and chairs set up alongside a buffet and grills serving made-to-order burgers, we dined al fresco. The setting sun gave way to a darkening sky, revealing the constellations of both the northern and southern hemispheres—a rare spectacle only visible near the equator.

Following dinner, our naturalist Charley invited anyone interested to a stargazing session at the front of the observation deck. Using a green laser pointer, he illuminated and explained various constellations, sharing the history behind each. This educational moment under the stars was both enlightening and mesmerizing.

The day concluded with the screening of Chapter 2 of David Attenborough’s Galapagos documentary, after which we retired to our cabins, minds full of the day’s adventures and eyes heavy with the onset of sleep.


This morning’s 6:30 AM wakeup call was well worth it as we ventured out to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz to visit the Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS) headquarters and the Charles Darwin Research Center (CDRC). The CDRC collaborates closely with the GNPS, which manages the entire archipelago. Our visit included a stop at the Fausto Llerena giant tortoise breeding center, where we learned about vital conservation efforts and saw hatchlings that represent the future of their species. One of the most poignant sights was Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island Tortoise, preserved and displayed in an airtight, temperature-controlled room. Discovered in 1971 and brought to the center in hopes of finding a mate, George unfortunately died in 2012, at the age of 100, without reproducing, marking the end of his species.

We learned fascinating tortoise facts during our visit: they can survive 1-2 years without food or water, typically lay 10-12 eggs annually, and the temperature during egg incubation determines their sex—males at 81 degrees and females at 85 degrees. The visible growth rings on their shells enable expansion as they age, with females generally being half the size of males.

Following our enriching tour, we enjoyed some free time to shop at the CDRC Gift Shop and at Chocolapagos, where I bought a box of cute little sea turtle shaped dark chocolates from this local chocolatier. Thanks to a partnership with Lindblad, the shop delivered my chocolates directly to the ship to prevent them from melting.

Next, we boarded buses for one of two optional tours: a visit to El Trapiche sugar cane farm in the highlands or a hydroponic farm tour a little further out in the highlands. Laura, Jon, Nick, Julie and I chose the sugar cane farm, intrigued by the opportunity to taste local moonshine. The farm, operated by a family for generations, processes sugar cane, coffee, and bananas, and distills its own moonshine. We learned that mosquitoes pollinate the cocoa trees here—a surprising fact! The moonshine, potent yet smooth, was first sampled in juice, disguising its strength, followed by a tasting of two distinct varieties.

Meanwhile, Brooke and Lindsey opted for the hydroponic farm, Granja Ochoa, where they learned about sustainable farming practices. They arrived at Granja Ochoa Hydroponic Farm where they were met by the owner who showed them around, teaching them how he collects rain water and then the water gets recycled through the hoses. It takes 30 days to grow the lettuce and this is actually the local farm where Lindblad gets all their leafy greens for their ships in the Galapagos. There is minimal impact on the environment with water usage and he only adds some minerals to the water to help the greens grow but that’s it! The owner only sells lettuce to cruise ships who travel in the Galapagos and I have to say we all approve of his product as all the leafy greens on the ship were so fresh and delicious. 

Both groups reconvened for a local lunch at Rancho Manzanillo Restaurant, followed by an excursion in rubber boots to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Our guide, Charley, pointed out numerous tortoises, including two males engaging in a rare display of combat—a special treat for all of us.

Afterward, we returned to town where we had the option to either explore the local shops or return to the ship. Laura, Jon, Brooke, Lindsey, and I chose to stay and explore, soaking in the local atmosphere and culture, and buying matching Blue Footed Boobies shirts to wear to dinner that night with our Blue Footed Boobies socks. We also stopped at a local restaurant/bar on the water for a happy hour drink before taking the very last zodiac back to the ship. Tonight, we had special visit from a local scientist from the Charles Darwin Research Station and a local group of musicians and dancers performed for us after dinner.

The day was a profound reminder of the delicate balance of conservation and the impact of human activities on these unique islands. It was filled with new knowledge, appreciation for the efforts to preserve this incredible place, and joy from the direct encounters with its most famous inhabitants.


Our last full day in the Galapagos began with an early start at 7:15 AM for a hike at Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island. This trek was reminiscent of the Grand Canyon, characterized by its elevation and the demanding nature of its rocky path, which required good balance and more effort than any other hikes on our trip. This site is unique in the Galapagos as it is the only place where you can potentially see all three species of boobies nesting together. We were fortunate to observe them all, marking our first and only sighting of the Red-Footed Boobies.

Following the hike, we returned to the beach to enjoy some paddleboarding around the cove. The day continued with various activities on board: Christian was in the library collecting photo submissions from the guests for the upcoming slideshow, Cindy shared her underwater videos in the lounge, and Pato distributed luggage tags and security declarations in preparation for our disembarkation and flight back to Guayaquil the next day. We then attended a disembarkation briefing, enjoyed a leisurely lunch, and had some free time on the ship.

During our free time, our new group of friends chose to relax on the observation deck, taking in the breathtaking views of the mile-long white sand beach of Cerro Brujo. This serene locale was our destination for a final swim in the Pacific Ocean. After a couple of hours of swimming and lounging on the strikingly beautiful beach, we returned to the ship to freshen up.

Later in the afternoon, we gathered on the observation deck for a special “Leon Dormido” cocktail as the captain skillfully navigated near the iconic Kicker Rock at sunset, en route to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The day’s festivities continued with the captain’s farewell cocktail party and the premiere of the guest slideshow, featuring a collection of remarkable photos taken by our fellow travelers throughout the voyage.

Dinner was served, and we spent our last night onboard enjoying each other’s company and reflecting on the unforgettable experiences we had shared. The evening was a perfect culmination of our adventure, filled with camaraderie and a shared appreciation for the wonders of the Galapagos.


Regrettably, this morning marked our departure from the ship. We disembarked and were taken to the town, where we had the option to either explore independently or relax at the Indigo Hotel. A few of us chose to enjoy a dip in the hotel pool, lounge around, and later savor lunch there, relishing the last few moments of leisure before our scheduled flight back to Guayaquil.

Unexpectedly, our return journey encountered a hiccup—there was an issue with the airplane in Guayaquil, resulting in our flight being delayed by four hours. Thankfully, the staff at Indigo Hotel extended their hospitality, making the unexpected delay more comfortable and less frustrating. Eventually, we made our way to the airport and boarded our rescheduled flight, arriving at the hotel in Guayaquil around 7 PM.

Upon arrival, we were quickly given keys to our rooms. Not wanting to waste any of our remaining time together, our group of friends convened for one final dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Le Gourmet. This meal was bittersweet, filled with laughter and reflections on the unforgettable experiences we shared. Most of us were scheduled to leave on a 6 AM flight back to Miami the following morning.

This day brought an end to an adventure that felt like an extraordinary journey to a land before time, leaving us all with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the unique wonders of the Galapagos-our extraordinary trip to a land before time. 

DAY 10

After only a couple of hours of sleep, we were up and out of the hotel by 3:30 AM, making our way back to the airport for our 6 AM flight from Guayaquil to Miami. The early morning was quiet, filled with the soft murmurs of farewells among friends who had shared a transformative journey. At the Miami airport, we exchanged final goodbyes, each of us carrying a trove of memories from our extraordinary trip to Ecuador.

Though the physical journey had come to an end, the bonds formed during our adventure promised future reunions. We all committed to keeping in touch, hopeful for new adventures together in the years to come. This was so much more than a trip; it was the beginning of lifelong friendships and a lasting appreciation for the natural wonders we had experienced.

As I reflect on the ten incredible days spent in the Galápagos, I am overwhelmed by the profound impact of each moment. From the unique wildlife encounters to the breathtaking landscapes and the deep connections formed with fellow travelers, this expedition was a journey of discovery and connection. Lindblad Expeditions provided not only a gateway to one of the world’s most pristine ecological wonders but also fostered an environment where each of us could engage deeply with our surroundings and with each other. The memories of paddling alongside sea lions, gazing at the intricate dance of the Blue-Footed Boobies, and walking among ancient giants will forever be etched in my heart. As we all returned to our corners of the world, we carried with us not only souvenirs and photographs but also a renewed sense of responsibility to protect these fragile ecosystems and a hope to explore more of our beautiful planet together in the future. This trip to the Galápagos was truly a reminder of how travel can change us, teaching us more about the world, about nature, and about ourselves.

Do you yearn to create your own beautiful moments and memories in some of the world’s most extraordinary destinations? Please do not hesitate to reach out. Whether it’s navigating the unique landscapes of the Galápagos or discovering other hidden gems of our planet, I am here to help craft the perfect itinerary tailored to your interests and dreams. Don’t wait — contact me today to turn your travel dreams into reality, and embark on a journey that you will treasure for a lifetime!


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