While on Isabela Island, we opted to go on the Tintoreras excursion. After a short boat ride on a small fisherman boat (15-20 ft), we arrived at Las Tintoreras, a series of smaller islands in front of Puerto Villamil. The bay tour included seeing the infamous Galapagos penguins, a short hike to canales de las tintoreras and marine iguana colony, and open water snorkeling with sea turtles. We started off by circling the islands and hearing about the second tiniest penguins ever. It’s never a guarantee to see the wildlife, but fortunately we spotted a couple on Penguin Rock (more photos here).
After Penguin Rock, we docked and ventured onto the island for a short hike to canales de las tintoreras (shark canal) where we observed resting white tip sharks.
The terrain here is truly unique! The jagged lava rocks are covered in a white moss on one side so that depending on the direction you’re looking, the island can look completely different. On top of that, it’s a favorite breeding ground for Galapagos marine iguanas. Since we were there during breeding season, the rocks were covered with them.
This guy got a little too much sun.
A beach where sea lions frequently breed:
Great Blue Heron:
Afterwards, we went to a snorkeling location, climbed over a few rocks, put on our gear, and hopped in. The water was calm and quite deep where we stopped and within the first few minutes we sighted a few Galapagos turtles! Sometimes you can also see rays, sea lions and white-tip sharks here.
Photos taken with a Canon 5D Mark III & 70-200 mm / 2.8 L lens with IS and an iPhone5 with a griffin waterproof case.
Tips for your Bay Tour of Isabela Island & Las Tintoreras:
- Bring water, sunscreen, hat, bathing suit, closed toed shoes for hiking. The terrain is sometimes uneven and rocky.
- Optional* Bring a long lens for wildlife photography and a waterproof case or underwater camera for snorkeling photos.
Have you been snorkeling before?
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This Post Has 12 Comments
Wow – your photography is absolutely stunning. And the water is so clear I feel like I could just hop in!
Claire xx | somewhere… beyond the sea
Thank you so much, Claire. :) It is such a lovely place to go for a swim, and I love that you see so much marine life… although I was okay with not running into the white tip sharks while snorkeling. :) Thanks so much for stopping by!
I like the seals! They’re so cute!
They are! well.. most of them.. but they do act a lot like dogs. some of them that are more dominant can act aggressive.. while others are more friendly.
You win! Beautiful pictures above and below water. I always have a hard time taking portraits, human or pet, much less scaly wild animals. Bravo, guys! Beautiful work!
Thanks Margo! I used to shoot tons of portraits and weddings… so I feel like they come much easier to me than landscapes do. I have been loving all the landscape photos that you take on your blog. Maybe we should swap some tips!
Amazing pictures! I love all the wildlife that you got to see.
Thanks so much Crystal! :)
I’ve never been snorkeling before but I love the underwater shots the best!!!!! :)
You should try it! It’s scary at first.. at least for me, but I think around the 3rd or 4th try I felt much more comfortable and could focus on enjoying it.
Great shots! I love the turtle and the birds!
Thanks girl! :)