The Dupont’s Galapagos Adventure, February 2012

Click on an image below to begin slide show

IE Galapagos Islands cruise guests Jane and Tom Dupont have just returned from their February journey. The Duponts were good enough to share their favorite photos and memories from seven days aboard the M/V Evolution.

"My husband and I recently returned from an amazing travel adventure in the Galapagos Islands with International Expeditions. Certainly, the wildlife, up close and personal, was enough of a reason to head to these unique islands off the west coast of Ecuador, but what unfolded over several days proved to be an extraordinary travel experience.

There were fifteen of us, lead by our remarkable naturalist guide, Boli Sanchez, who, along with the dedicated crew of the M/V Evolution saw to our safety, comfort and every need. Our days were filled with delicious meals, nature walks, snorkeling, panga rides, kayaking and informative naturalist briefings. Our post-lunch mandatory siesta became a welcome time to recharge, as was our post-snorkeling warm up in the hot tub. Each day brought new sights and experiences as the wildlife enchanted and amazed us.

Thus, eight hundred or so pictures later, these highlights are a small sampling of unbeatable memories forever engraved on our hearts:

  • Late in the afternoon, a short-eared owl was preparing for his evening hunt when we happened by. He sat patiently on the ground and observed us unblinking as we snapped pictures and marveled at his beauty.
  • A newly hatched Nazca booby peeked from beneath his mother as if to say, “Hello, I’m new here.” Red-footed and blue-footed boobies lounged in the low trees.
  • A penguin zipped around me and paused by my snorkel mask as if to invite me for a swim, which I did! He hopped up on a rock as juvenile sea lions slipped into the water to join our snorkeling group for some fun.
  • As a female frigate bird flew overhead surveying her crop of suitors, a male, with red pouch fully inflated, called and danced with wings flapping, “Pick me! Pick me!”
  • It was mating season for several species, including the giant Galapagos tortoises. There is nothing quite so startling as coming upon the unbridled passion of these massive creatures propagating the species.
  • Snorkeling is a Technicolor dream with many large schools of numerous colorful fish. Manta rays and sharks glide by below us as we floated above. On a panga (Zodiak boat), we observed mating Pacific green turtles.

Yet I do have one cautionary note: If you go on this IE tour, no trip will ever measure up this incredible experience! The Galapagos Islands, unique and special have much to offer, but it was our marvelous guide and crew that made this a truly extraordinary adventure!"

—Jane and Tom Dupont