I woke up with a giant smile on my face plus enough energy to run a 25k marathon. Just kidding. That will never happen. But a gal can dream. We were up and out the door by 8:00 am. There is a breakfast place right across from the port, opens at dawn, and for $7, Gringos can enjoy scrambled eggs, toast with the best jam ever, juice, and a lovely cup of Galápagos coffee.
Our plan was to explore Tortuga Bay till afternoon. From the port, the boat ride is about 20 minutes to the bay, depending on the Pacific Ocean’s mood – which isn’t always pleasant. The waves were huge and bouncing around everywhere. Luckily, our “captain” knew what he was doing and we made it there. No one went overboard. Phew! If you aren’t fond of semi-speed boat and bouncy waves, you can walk from Puerto Ayora to Tortuga Bay. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour. I would recommend bouncy waves over the walk, unless, you enjoy the humidity that is. Eeeek! No, thank you. If you plan on taking the boat back, make sure to arrange a pick up time.
Once off the boat, there are two beaches you can explore. The one to the left is more of a lagoon and is perfect for snorkeling and exploring surrounding wildlife. You can also rent kayaks for $10/hour – the place is open until 5:00pm. The beach to the right has incredible waves, clear blue water, and tons of iguanas! There are dozens of them sunbathing at any given time, it’s an incredible sight! We ended up spending more than necessary time on the bay. But it was worth it.
We arrived back at hotel around 3:00 pm. We had about two hours left to explore other attraction before closing time. Our hotel receptionist called a tour taxi for us, and it was $15 for the guide to take us to the craters, a tortoise sanctuary, and a lava tunnel. It was ideal for the three of us, however, our driver did not speak any English so we relied on what little Spanish we did know (thank you Princess Higglypuff).
First stop: Los Gemelos aka Twin Craters formed by the collapse of magma chambers. It is a pretty incredible sight.
Next stop, Reserva El Chato. A beautiful sanctuary for tortoises on the island. This farm allows visitors to explore and find tortoises in their natural habitat. The entry fee is $3, and worth every penny.
Our last stop on this taxi tour was the lava tunnel. It’s a short drive from the Chato. The tunnel is 400meters long and well-lit. Our driver dropped us off at the entrance. From there we were (unexpectedly) on our own, excited to explore this giant tunnel.
Five minutes later, the lights went out. It was pitch dark. Three girls all alone in a lava tunnel, in the middle of nowhere….an excellent start of a typical horror movie. Luckily, we whipped out cell phones and within seconds we had light. Thank you iPhones! After a few minutes, the lights came back on; we were all about that Hallelujah! Until the lights went out again!! In my head, I swore to play along with the marriage game with my mother if I made it out alive….
JUST KIDDING. I only thought about a large bottle of Pilsner I was going to have for dinner.
We wanted to get the hell out of that damn tunnel. We enjoyed our time exploring mother nature’s finest work but when the lights came back on, it was time for us to go.
As dinner time rolled around, we decided to check out the street market across from our hotel. So much seafood (yuckkk!) Fish are Friends, not Food. I’m allergic to seafood and a devoted vegetarian. I salute my friends for putting up with that. We eventually settled for this taco place. BEST. FOOD. EVER. I highly recommend Taco Miendo. Danny is wonderful, and he will take care of you!
Danny and his delicious meal were a perfect way to end our crazy day. Danny invited us out to go dancing later, and as tempting as that was, we had an early morning ferry to catch. Our adventurous day 2 had come to an end, but little did we know, this was just a start …