The Galapagos airport is on the small, barren island of Baltra, where the U.S. stationed forces in World War II to protect the Panama Canal against a potential Japanese attack.
From Baltra, we took a ferry ride to the much bigger island of Santa Cruz.
97 percent of the land mass of the Galapagos is in the Galapagos National Park. Every group
visiting the Galapagos must be accompanied by park service guides. Ours are Jaime and Sofia.
On the way to the hotel, we stopped to see a huge sinkhole.
The Galapagos mockingbird sitting on this prickly pear cactus is endemic to the Galapagos,
meaning that it arrived here through natural means and now exists only in the Galapagos.
This male lava lizard is also endemic to the Galapagos.
As is this lava gull.
At the end of the first day in the Galapagos, El Garrapatero's warm water was refreshing.
A flamingo was in the brackish water a short distance from El Garrapatero.