instagram: @johnandmandifacebook: johnandmandiRss FeedContact Us

John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
1,120 days a wanderin'

HD Off

Western Galapagos, Angelito Cruise Itinerary B

Apr 18, 2018
by John

Into a land, undivided by the abuses of man, absent from further exploitation. A lesson in compassion, understanding, and acceptance. Beasts living not in fear, rather the joy of coexistence, the truest nature of life. Lost are the preconceptions, the animosity, each moment shared in silence. Breathing as one, seeing as one, living as one. Peace.

We can only imagine how wonderful the world once was. When all animals lived in balance. Where fear did not pervade all chance encounters, destroying the moment. To have experienced how differently we could live among our friends in nature, we will never be the same.

What We Did

After a fair amount of research, almost a month, we decided that taking a two week cruise was the best option for our visit to the Galapagos...reaching every single island that was at the top of our list. Many ships advertised special cruises for photography or biology, marketing themselves as visiting the islands earlier than others and/or spending more time on the islands to maximize the experience. While they seemed appealing, our exchanges with the operators left us feeling like it was more hype than truth (an unfortunate reality today). One ship, the Angelito I, was not only highly recommended by other overlanders but our exchanges with them were fantastic. The guide we wanted, Maja, happened to be performing a longer than usual stint which also spanned the only available two week cruise that fit within our travel schedule. After a short text with Joe & Josee, who were currently sailing on the Angelito I, and learning Kirsi was negotiating a booking with them too, we committed.

Angelito I, Las Bachas, Galapagos

Our home on water

We knew the ship was classed as tourist superior, not first class or luxury, but the layout in our opinion was much better than many of the more expensive ships. What we didn't know was that on almost every day we were the first to arrive on the scheduled island and usually the last to leave. We spent much more time learning and witnessing the wonders of the Galapagos, taking way too many photos, than even the National Geographic Explorer. This is not trivial, cruising in the Galapagos is expensive, maximizing the time spent on the islands really enhances the experience. We would take the long loop trails, seeing many animals and different plants, when most other tours took a short back and forth trail (many lasting only 30-45 minutes when ours were several hours). This became a topic of conversation on our ship. A fellow passenger told us that in his research he read many complaints about other ships stating they only spent 1 hour each day exploring, a 30 minute hike and a 30 minute snorkel, and 23 hours on the ship...how awful.

Long days might not be for everyone, but for those wanting to get lost in the essence of the Galapagos...there is no other way. Standing or sitting among wild animals that accept us as equals, not a threat, is indescribable. The history, the science, the anecdotes, the silence our little group of 15-17 shared alone with nature can never be fully captured with words. The snacks provided after our hikes, the warm water rinses with fresh towels after our snorkels followed by a warm drink, the care and effort put into every need of each passenger, it was beyond luxurious. Then, as if it could get any better, we learned that the Angelito I is one of only two remaining Galapagos-owned ships. Built by two brothers, the son of one is the current captain, still family run and operated.

Looking back, we easily attribute our wonderful experiences to our guide Maja, the crew of the Angelito I, and our fellow passengers. While we started as guests, we all left as friends. To call our visit an experience of a lifetime would be a severe understatement and a great disservice to what the Galapagos really is. Yes it is unique, but it doesn't have to be. It is more a lesson than a place, a way of life over beautiful photos, a memory that shouldn't be forgotten. In what we thought to be our only visit, now lives a great desire to return.

Cruise Details

Each day usually was as follows: breakfast, board zodiac to visit an island, hike around island, return to ship via zodiac, snacks, change for snorkeling, board zodiac to reach snorkeling area, snorkel, return to ship, warm rinse with fresh towel and warm beverage, break, lunch, short siesta, board zodiac to visit another island, hike around island, return to ship via zodiac, snacks, break, dinner, briefing for next day and sometimes a slideshow or short informational video, bed. Some nights before bed we had a "shark show", meaning we watched the sharks and sometimes sea lions swim around the ship looking for fish. We snorkeled 5 out of the 6 full days and only had one hike on a couple days due to ship navigation. One day per 7 night cruise the ship is required to be in a port so we had time to wander town and purchase souvenirs after a hike, lunch, and visiting a breeding center. Among the wonderful group of passengers was another overlanding couple, Kurt & Monika, whom we plan to visit in Switzerland when we one day tour Europe. There was also an empty room, meaning there were only 14 passengers, making the total of our group 15 counting our guide Maja.

Instead of too many details, the remainder of this blog entry will mostly be photos by location. We did use our GoPro and took short bursts with our cameras so we've compiled videos for the 5 days we have footage. We didn't enhance any of the video and just strung together a bunch of short clips all set to the free music provided by the software we used. Some parts may be a bit choppy but we feel they present a good idea of what we experienced. Reminder: if you would like to load higher quality photos, use the toggle to the right of this entry's title.

Sunday: Las Bachas

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Las Bachas

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Las Bachas

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Sanderlings

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Sally Lightfoot Crab

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Juvenile Brown Pelican

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Marine Iguana

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Sea Turtle Tracks

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Galapagos Sea Lion

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Striated Heron

Las Bachas, Galapagos

Prickly Pear Cactus Loves Galapagos

Monday: Mosquera - Cerro Dragon

Mosquera, Galapagos

Mosquera

Mosquera, Galapagos

Wife and Galapagos Sea Lions

Mosquera, Galapagos

Unbelievably cute Galapagos Sea Lions

Mosquera, Galapagos

Crab Carcass

Mosquera, Galapagos

Brown Pelican

Mosquera, Galapagos

Galapagos Scorpion

Mosquera, Galapagos

Sandy Galapagos Sea Lion

Mosquera, Galapagos

Marine Iguana

Mosquera, Galapagos

Lava Lizard

Mosquera, Galapagos

International Galapagos Summit

Mosquera, Galapagos

Was a sea urchin

Mosquera, Galapagos

Mosquera

Mosquera, Galapagos

White Tip Reef Sharks

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Cerro Dragon

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Lava Lizard

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Great Blue Heron

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Cerro Dragon

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Hanky Panky Painted Grasshoppers

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Galapagos Flycatcher

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Giant Prickly Pear Cactus

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Land Iguana

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Cerro Dragon

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

Single File Gringos

Cerro Dragon, Galapagos

American Flamingo

Tuesday: Tagus Cove (Isabela) - Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)

Tagus Cove, Galapagos

Galapagos Flycatcher

Tagus Cove, Galapagos

Us

Tagus Cove, Galapagos

Tagus Cove

Tagus Cove, Galapagos

Galapagos Cotton

Tagus Cove, Galapagos

Chocolate Chip & Red Starfish

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Punta Espinoza

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Marine Iguanas

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Marine Iguana

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Lots of Marine Iguanas

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Galapagos Green Turtle

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Flightless Cormorant

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Marine Iguana Skull

Punta Espinoza, Galapagos

Lava Cactus

Wednesday: Isabela: Urbina Bay - Elizabeth Bay

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

The humpty dance

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Galapagos Tortoises

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Darwin Finch

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Galapagos Cotton Flower

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Galapagos Tortoise

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Spider

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Stop, collaborate and listen

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Land Iguana

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Me and Land Iguana

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Tortoise on the trail

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Fishy fishy

Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Sea Turtle

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Elizabeth Bay

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Galapagos Penguins!

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Blue Footed Boobies

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Galapagos Penguin

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Brown Pelican

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

More Galapagos Penguins

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Sea Turtle

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Red Mangrove

Elizabeth Bay, Galapagos

Golden Cownose Ray

Thursday: Punta Moreno - Navigation to Puerto Villamil

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Punta Moreno

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Lava Cactus

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Lovely Lava

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

American Flamingo

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

American Flamingos

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Cactus Flower

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Lagoon

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Sea Turtle

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

White Tip Reef Shark

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Galapagos Penguins

Punta Moreno, Galapagos

Sea Turtle

Friday: Puerto Villamil: Sierra Negra - Tortoise Breeding Center

Sierra Negra, Galapagos

Snail

Sierra Negra, Galapagos

Sierra Negra

Sierra Negra, Galapagos

Happy Hikers

Sierra Negra, Galapagos

Guava Flower

Puerto Villamil, Galapagos

Puerto Villamil

Puerto Villamil, Galapagos

American Flamingos

Puerto Villamil, Galapagos

Marine Iguana

Puerto Villamil, Galapagos

White Cheeked Pintail

Saturday: Floreana: Punta Cormorant - Corona del Diablo - Post Office Bay - Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz)

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Punta Cormorant

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Hermit Crab

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

American Flamingos

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Punta Cormorant

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Punta Cormorant

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Not a toy

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Punta Cormorant

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Lava Lizard

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Olivine

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Marine Worm

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Punta Cormorant

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

Black Necked Stilt

Punta Cormorant, Galapagos

American Flamingos

Corona del Diablo, Galapagos

Corona del Diablo

Corona del Diablo, Galapagos

Lots of Fish

Corona del Diablo, Galapagos

Galapagos Sea Lion

Corona del Diablo, Galapagos

White Tip Reef Shark

Corona del Diablo, Galapagos

School

Post Office Bay, Galapagos

Post Office Bay

Post Office Bay, Galapagos

The Post Office

Sunday: Daphne Mayor - Baltra

Daphne Mayor, Galapagos

Daphne Mayor

Daphne Mayor, Galapagos

Frigates

Daphne Mayor, Galapagos

Daphne Mayor

Daphne Mayor, Galapagos

Dolphin

Daphne Mayor, Galapagos

More Dolphin


Say what? (4)
Sally
Apr 20, 2018 at 09:12 AM
What a beautiful post. You are a great writers and photographers. I couldn't have said it better what a unique and memorable experience it was.
Apr 23, 2018 at 05:27 PM
Thanks Sally!

In a week or two we will be posting about the A itinerary, I think we have a very good crab picture to share ; )
May 6, 2018 at 08:20 AM
Great job! We help people book on the Angelito from time to time. We had a chance to do a family cruise on it just before it was completely reconstructed a few years ago - glad to hear such positive reviews - well writtend and photo-documented.
May 6, 2018 at 09:59 AM
Thanks Marc!

Your NW cruise was an option we explored but it is quite popular and was entirely booked during our drive through Ecuador. It’s great to hear you also book, and have personally toured with, the Angelito I. Your work and efforts in the Galapagos are vitally important, an example we elude to in our prose above. Thank you for working hard for a place so dear.
Leave a comment:










Notify me of follow-up comments and new posts by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.

© 2001 - 2018 johnandmandi.com