The Galapagos Islands
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I visited the Galapagos Islands. They only allow 140 000 visitors per year on the islands, and I got to be one of them. I feel so privileged.
For the first four days in Galapagos, we were on the island San Cristobal. We stayed seven to a family, but these families were much different than that of Playa de Oro. While in Playa it was a one time deal, these homes in the Galapagos were specifically for hosting students and visitors. They were definitely more technologically advanced, and the homes were a lot larger and somewhat fancier.
The water here was gorgeous. We went snorkelling almost every day, and swam with giant sea turtles, a large variety of fish, and I even swam over a Galapagos shark! No worries, it was smaller than me, and it wasn’t looking for human flesh or anything. It just swam about six feet below us.
On one of the days, it was my friend Jake’s birthday, and as a group, we organized a small outing for dessert one night. He ended up having cake four times for his birthday, between our dessert party, his planned birthday dinner from the teachers, his host family and an impromptu birthday cake breakfast.
We spent the last two days in Santa Cruz, another island in the Galapagos. This was definitely the more tourist-attracted island of the two. We went mini-cliff jumping, visited lava tubes, and watched the sunrise on the pier.
Every night, we would go out to the pier and hang out, which was about a five minute walk from our houses. We could go to the little touristy shops, grab an ice cream, and just enjoy our time in the beautiful Galapagos.
This saying means Conserve What’s Ours. It’s very important to the islands, considering the fact that they are the only home to a variety of different species of animals, plants and insects.
I got to drive the boat back to shore on our boat cruise around Leon Dormido.
This was where we went cliff jumping.
The lava tubes we visited.
A night on the pier.
Watching the sunrise!
Going back to the airport was good and bad. Obviously, I was happy to be seeing my family, but at the same time, I didn’t want to leave Ecuador. I made so many friendships, created the most amazing memories, and had the best time of my life. This was the trip of a lifetime, and an unforgettable one at that. I am so happy to have gone here and it will remain a part of me forever.