Discover Galapagos - A travel guide to Galapagos cruises, tours, boats and yacht charters

Galapagos Islands tours - fun for the whole family!



A travel guide to Galapagos tours, boats, cruises & yacht charters

Galapagos Islands Guided Tour

Gardner Bay, Hood Island

The beach at Gardner Bay, Hood Island, Galapagos
Sea Lion on the beach at Gardner Bay, Hood Island, Galapagos
Jeff Waugh
Relaxing on the beach...
The cruise to Gardner Bay from Punta Suarez only takes about half an hour. We are delightfully surprised by the turquoise water and the white coralline sand beach that reaches around the point a kilometer away. We see a herd of sea lions all lined up basking in the sun along the beach. 

As we round the point to head into the bay a giant manta ray surfaces for just a moment, long enough for us to realize it must be at least four meters from "wing tip to wing tip". Mantas and other rays do seem to fly through the water. We slow our engines and cruise along beside it amazed at how graceful this sea creature is. With a few flaps of its wings it shoots out in front of us and disappears into the depths. 

We cruise in toward a couple of small islets (eroded spatter cones) in the middle of the bay and drop anchor. It's lunch time! As we eat and enjoy our cold drinks we are able to take in the sights and sounds of this beautiful bay. We hear the bull sea lions barking to defend their territory from other males.

Spotted Eagle Rays, Hood Island, Galapagos
Jeff Waugh
Spotted Eagle Rays
This must be the day of the rays! A group of Spotted Eagle Rays swims by along side the boat and we hover over the railing to get a good view.

After lunch we are into the panga and out to the beach. The sand is wonderfully soft and the water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Some of the waves are even good for body surfing. Some of us just want to sit and relax with the sea lions, while others start to amble down the beach towards the point exploring. We find remains of sea turtle eggshells and some recent tracks. As we follow the tracks back from the beach we find a discreet pile of sand that hides the nest. This is a very important nesting area for the Green Sea Turtle.


The Green Sea Turtles may nest as many as four times in a season, and each time may lay up to 80 eggs. You would think that would be enough to keep the population going. Unfortunately, they are faced with many predators that take a great many of the eggs and young. Feral pigs can smell a freshly laid nest and dig up the eggs. Once hatched, the young turtles are faced with having to make it to the sea from the beach.

Green Sea Turtles hatching on the beach at Gardner Bay, Hood Island, Galapagos
Jeff Waugh
Hatching sea turtles...

 

Frigate birds and other scavengers consume large numbers before they make it to the water. Once in the ocean they face sharks and other oceanic predators.

I once sliced open a tuna that contained the undigested shells of five baby turtles! If the young make it to adulthood they face predation by man, both at sea and on land. Being a sea turtle is a tough life!

Hatchinhling Green Sea Turtles, Hood Island, Galapagos
Jeff Waugh

We spend the afternoon lazing around with the sea lions (keeping an eye out for the bull), wandering along the beach, exploring, swimming, and snorkeling.

Sea Lions on the beach, Hood Island, Galapagos
Jeff Waugh Sea Lions on the beach at Gardner Bay, Hood Island

It's been another wonderful day as we watch the sun sinking down into the sea.

Early in the morning the engines start, we turn over and go back to sleep knowing we are on our way...

To Santa Fe

 

GALAPAGOS CRUISES

Galapagos Cruises and Tours
SCUBA Diving Cruises

Reservations

PRE-TRIP PLANNING

Frequently Asked Questions
Galapagos Map
A Brief Introduction
What to Bring
Travel Insurance

Hotels in Quito & Guayaquil

GALAPAGOS GUIDED TOUR

The Galapagos Archipelago
Baltra (Arrival)
Santa Cruz - Caleta Tortuga Negra
San Salvador - Sullivan Bay
Bartolome
Tower
San Salvador - James Bay
Fernandina - Punta Espinoza
Isabela - Tagus Cove
Isabela - Urvina Bay
Isabela - Elizabeth Bay
Santa Cruz - CDRS and Highlands
Floreana
Hood Island - Punta Saurez
Hood Island - Gardner Bay
Santa Fe
Plazas
Baltra (Departure)

FAMILY TRAVEL

Family Travel Planner
Adventures of Little Miss Chievous
Evan's Ecuador, Peru & Bolivia 2000
Evan's Ecuador 1998

Follow this link to Evan's Ecuador...
Evan with Galapagos Tortoise

INTI TRAVEL AND TOURS

INTI TRAVEL AND TOURS
Accommodation
Ecuador

Amazon
Andes
Coast
Galapagos

Hotels, Haciendas, & Jungle Lodges
Peru
Bolivia

Photo Journal

Follow the iguana to Hood Island...
Marine Iguana

 

 Discover Galapagos
Inti Travel and Tours, Inc
Box 1586 Banff, AB., Canada T1L 1C1

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