Waking up this morning to a fresh air-conditioned room was truly lovely. The heat has been affecting our sleep massively on the farm so these three days in Isabela has been the fresh break that we desperately needed.
After checking the tides, we booked Las Tintoreras for the afternoon based on low tide – TIP – make sure you check the tides and try and to all snorkeling trips at low tide to maximize water visibility and the possible amount of marine life as they prefer the low tides to feed.
The trip wasn’t due to start until 2pm and we booked through our host Jackson for $40USD PP which was much cheaper than buying on Santa Cruz or in town. As we had the morning we went out for breakfast to ‘Sun and Coffee’ as it was pretty much one of the only ones open and had good reviews on TripAdvisor. I won’t lie, the service was terrible, we waited about 20 minutes before being acknowledged however, the food turned it around for us as it was a solid 7/10, even though it was pretty expensive at $8USD pp. (Next week we will try and cut all this extra expenditure as we cannot afford this lavish $8USD a meal pp malarkey)
From there we made the call to walk to the ‘wall of tears’, 6.5km from the town. This beach walk is lovely, not strenuous but the heat definitely makes it a tricky one – Leo was totally fine, not a drop of sweat on him, but I looked like I had just come out the sea for the entire walk. We loved it though! The walk itself will see you pass through lush forest, many giant tortoises just chilling and of course a bunch of marine iguanas and little lizards. There are also about 5-6 beaches that you can meander off the main track to hang out and chill/ go for a swim along the way if time permits.
About 1 hour into the track you will reach the wall and also 600m before had a great look out which will take you up A LOT of stairs where you can overlook the bays, town and the surrounding Volcanoes. On the way back we stopped at ‘Playa de Amor’ which was amazing. A tiny little beach, nestled in mangroves, covered in lava formations and filled with massive marine iguanas we made a pit stop here for 30 mins to paddle, catch our breath and have our water break – make sure you pack LOTS of water of doing this track.
We made it back to town in about 2.5 hours and that was the 12-13km trip, grabbed some fruit from the market for lunch and went back to our refreshing A/C for a wee hour before our pick up. So, the main attraction of the day – Las Tintoreras. You start the trip with a quick 10minutes boat ride over to the Island which is only 3000 years old made entirely from lava. Boasting the highest ration of wildlife in the area upon arrival we were delighted to be welcomed with Galapagos penguins, sea lions, Blue Footed Boobies and many turtles swimming around the boat.
From there we were able to do a short track on the island as the main one is closed for iguana hatching season. It was truly interesting to hear our guide Diego explain about the different flora and fauna and wildlife that inhabits this small islet. The lava rocks that make the island are also called ‘Aye aye’ rocks, which literally translates to ‘ouch, ouch’ as if you are unlucky enough or stupid enough to walk on them and fall over then it will be an ouch ouch experience most probably followed by a hospital visit.
We made our way to the lagoon which is when the moment of the day happened! About 15 black tipped reef sharks sleeping in their shoal/pod/gang…I’m not sure what a formation of sharks is called but it was bloody incredible to witness. They were sleeping as they are nocturnal, but a few were splashing around. These guys are harmless to humans, eating only at night and growing to 2m in length, Leo was stoked to see them as was I. What a cool experience – this itself was worth the $40USD we paid.
Next on the activity list was snorkeling – now based on the fact we had just done the tunnels day trip the day before we didn’t have too high expectations but for the next 50 minutes we followed giant sea turtles, rays, parrot fish and various other marine life which was great. The visibility unfortunately was poor, the weather wasn’t playing fair and mother nature was grey and windy so the moments we captured on the GoPro were average but overall loved the trip. At 5pm we returned to the mainland and headed out for dinner, again in bed early after a full day of activities we were both exhausted.