We took a boat to Isabela Island and visited a marine iguana nesting area that was next to a channel marked “No swimming. Shark resting area.” And, indeed, there were several white-tipped reef sharks in the channel, visible from the trail that ran along it.
The marine iguanas – all four hundred of them – were busy digging nests in what looked like volcanic rubble that baked in the heat. In the middle of the iguanas, a sea lion lay resting.
Later, we snorkeled in the same area, sighting Spotted Eagle rays and Sting rays, sea turtles, hundreds of fish – and penguins. The Galapagos penguin is smaller than its Antarctic relatives, but it’s completely at home in the warm waters. Just to impress us with Galapagos biodiversity (in case we weren’t already), Sebastian later showed us pink flamingos. “How often,” he asked, “do you see penguins and flamingos in the same day?”