Urbina Bay

Sep 05, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Today National Geographic Islander sailed to Urbina Bay, an area that was uplifted in 1954. Urbina Bay is at the base of Alcedo Volcano. Here, the population of giant tortoises have flourished after a huge restoration effort aimed at eradicating goats was introduced. Goats, not native to the island, were destroying the region’s delicate ecology.  We also spotted a few land iguanas.

In the afternoon, we moved north to Tagus Cove, a site that Charles Darwin visited during his five-week trip to the Galapagos. We saw dozens of penguins, flightless cormorants, horn sharks, and many other species that are unique to these productive waters.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza


Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

About the Photographer

Walter Perez

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Walter was born in a very small town on the mainland of Ecuador. His first trip to the Galápagos was when he was 12 years old, visiting friends and aunt, who had moved to the islands. From the first moment he saw the Islands, he fell in love with them and knew then where his future home would be.

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