Luxury Expedition Ship
Our adventure began in the charming town of Quito, Ecuador. Situated high in the Andean foothills, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a wonderful place to explore. The culture is warm and welcoming while the history is vast and interesting. Spending a day wandering throughout the colonial center was the perfect addition to our Galapagos trip.
With our hearts full and smiles big, we ventured onward towards the Galapagos where the Silver Galapagos was eagerly awaiting our arrival in San Cristóbal Island. We were promptly whisked away by the expedition team on a short drive and one serene Zodiac ride later, we were greeted with champagne as we took our first steps onboard the ship. The evening continued to unfold magnificently. With frigatebirds high overhead and the sun setting on Kicker Rock, we set sail beginning one of the most captivating weeks of our lives!
The following morning, after a delectable breakfast on our balcony, we headed out for our first excursion. A meandering boardwalk led us to a stunning lookout on Bartolomé Island. From hikes in the morning to a Zodiac ride in the afternoon, we were in pursuit of breathtaking backgrounds and the lively wildlife one encounters at every turn in the Galapagos. The wildlife is the director of your story in the islands—several minutes were spent watching a young sea lion proudly thrash its fresh catch around as it swiftly and playfully swirled around our Zodiac.
After another epic snorkeling session, we decided to trade in our masks and fins and venture along the prisitine shorelines via kayak. The experience was both peaceful and serene—not to mention a great workout!
Each outing was awe-striking in its own right. A personal favorite was watching a mother sea lion nurse her pup. Since the wildlife in the Galapagos has no reason to fear humans, she wasn’t alarmed by our presence. We were tranquilly coexisting, which was a remarkable moment to be a part of.
The guides and crew of the Silver Galapagos were constantly looking for ways to make everyone’s experience outstanding. The islands are breathtaking all on their own, but having passionate and knowledgeable guides to bring the destination to life, as well as impeccable service, made the trip exquisite. An example of special little touches having a big impact was the paddle through a mangrove filled inlet. The Zodiac drivers skillfully traversed us into a secluded cove and then turned the engine off. The guide proceeded to gently paddle us around this scenic area. It was very powerful to sit still while the sea turtles floated by and pelicans danced above us.
On our last full day we took to the Highlands to observe the giant tortoises which migrate through MonteMar, a 43-acre property with ponds, an organic coffee plantation, wild horses, and native and endemic flora and fauna. As you can tell from the smile on my face, it was VERY exciting.
The Galapagos Islands are a destination unlike any other! I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to swim amongst sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, and manta rays; to lay my eyes upon the unique landscapes of this archipelago; and to enrich my mind and soul with the raw beauty of nature. Memories have been created that I’ll fondly recall for a lifetime!