September 27, 2007
I took a boat back to Santa Cruz Island this morning. Isabela was a great experience that was very different from the other islands. It's younger than the eastern islands, and therefore more volcanically active. It has five of the remaining twelve species of giant tortoise, and lots of other endemic species. Add to that the beautiful beaches and laid back atmosphere, and it's a must-see part of anyone's Galapagos experience in my book.
The only thing I didn't like about the island was the amount of control the government imposed on tourists. I was forbidden to go anywhere without a guide, even when there was an obvious trail. I understand that the park rangers just want to protect the environment, but I think the local people are more likely to damage it than I am. Anyway, I have now accepted that I can't turn the Galapagos into an adventure without breaking the rules, so I'll just do a few more regular tourist things and head back to the mainland.