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For my mom's birthday earlier this year, we went to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The Galapagos are special because they are home to some incredible animals, including blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, Galapagos tortoises, Galapagos penguins and even Galapagos sharks. Many people think that the only way to visit the Galapagos is on a cruise, but we did a land-based trip.
There are three islands that people stay on when visiting: Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal. We experienced all three.
We started on Santa Cruz Island, where we saw giant land tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas and more. We took a day trip to go snorkeling. It was so fun. We swam with sea lions, spotted blue-footed boobies and even caught a yellowfin tuna that we ate for lunch.
Then, we took a boat to Isabela. This was my favorite island. The streets were made of sand, and there were lots of animals all over.
While snorkeling here, my mom was bitten by a Galapagos penguin. She said it didn’t hurt too bad — it felt just like a pinch.
We also took a day trip far into the ocean and swam with so many huge sea turtles and colorful fish, and we also saw white-tipped sharks and an eagle ray. On the way back to Isabela, we even witnessed two tiger sharks swimming next to our boat with the fins out of the water. It was so cool! The last island we visited was San Cristobal. It rained, so we hung out on the beach with sea lions swimming around us and then hiked around the island to see frigatebirds. The beaches here are made of tiny shells, which were also fun to play with.
This was my favorite trip I’ve ever taken. Seeing wild animals that most people don’t know exist was so fun. If you ever have a chance to visit the Galapagos Islands, you should do it.