Galapagos Cruise: Day 1 – Cerro Dragon
We set out early from Puerto Ayora to get back to the airport on Baltra. This is a bit of a pain and involves a 40 minute taxi trip across Santa Cruz, followed by a 10 minute ferry trip and then a 10 minute bus trip to the airport. When we arrived we quickly hooked up with the representative from the boat and after hanging around for half an hour or so all the people going on the boat had arrived.
Once everyone was together we had to hop back on a bus to the dock and then wait around for the Pangas from the boat to pick us up and take us out into the Itabaca channel where the boat was waiting.
We had arranged to spend a week on the Yate Beluga travelling around a number of islands in the Galapagos. We’d booked our trip to the Galapagos before leaving home as we wanted to make sure that we got the itinerary and boat that we really wanted.
The Beluga is a First Class boat and this was reflected in the high quality guide that we had and the facilities on the boat. However Beluga is a small boat with only space for 16 passengers and in fact this week there were only 12 onboard. Besides us there were 6 Germans, 2 Canadians and 2 Americans. Fortunately everyone spoke good English so there was no doubt that English would be the main language for the week.
As soon as the boat set off we had our first encounter with Galapagos wildlife as there were a number of magnificent frigate birds perched on the top of the boat.
Almost as soon as we were settled on the boat we were taken to our first land excursion. This was to an undeveloped area of Santa Cruz called Dragon Hill.
The boat itself never docks but instead there were two small RIBs used to ferry us ashore with a mixture of wet and dry landings.
The prime focus of our trip to Dragon Hill was to find the Santa Cruz Land Iguanas. These were big and Yellow living up to 100 years. We saw several in our hike and they weren’t bothered by people at all, in fact they seemed pretty loathe to move at all.