All Aboard for Lizard Land in the Galapagos

WRITTEN BY: MEGAN KOPP

Disclosure: This post may contain Affiliate Links.

A ship, a ship – we have a ship. The Monserrat waits patiently in the harbour for us to board. Our Galapagos boat adventure is about to begin. It’s all aboard for lizard land.

The Galapagos Name Game
Okay, maybe lizard land isn’t the right name for this piece.

How about small island teeming with life?

Land of life?

Island Iife?

Yep, that’s it! Island life – where water-lapping land iguanas mingle with lounging lava lizards, seaside-sitting storm petrels, nesting boobies and sunning sea lions. That’s a typical scene on Isla Plazas.

Isla Plazas

Stepping on the short concrete dock, our G Adventure guide William warns us to be careful. The white guano stain – aka bird poop – is slippery.

Heading out on the rock-lined trail, a finch flies by. Another calls from a nearby cactus. A yellowish land iguana blocks the path, demanding a photo or ten. A small lava lizard scurries by.

Land iguanas thrive on Isla Plazas. (Photo: Brad Kopp)

All this and we haven’t moved more than 30 metres (100 feet) from the dock.

It doesn’t look like a productive habitat for wildlife, but don’t let first impressions fool you! (Photo: Brad Kopp)

This tiny, cactus-laden island is a refuge for hundreds of individuals – some large, some small, and some downright slothful.

Wandering Wild in the Galapagos

Walking on Isla Plazas is less about forward momentum and more about taking care not to inadvertently crush an unsuspecting resident.

Everything you may have ever heard or read about the abundance of fearless wildlife in Galapagos hit home on this short stroll.

Wild walking in the Galapagos. (Photo: Megan Kopp)

Massive bull sea lions slumber unconcerned as we walk by. They are as sleepy as sloths in a tree.

Juvenile sea lions pose on rocks and cavort in the water.

Frigate bird watch us watching it! (Photo: Brad Kopp)

Frigate birds hold court on rocky outcrops, watching tourists watching them. I kept expecting one of them to pull out a camera and start snapping photos of us!

Nesting pairs of Nazca boobies keep watch over eggs. Their rock-lined nests are precariously perched on black lava cliffs above a frothing surge.

A solitary land iguana laps water from an ephemeral rainwater pool steps away from the path. We stop and watch in awe as it casually drinks without a care. Watch as William explains in the background about land iguanas and their drinking habits:

This island life is pretty unique, don’t you think?

What wildlife adventures have you experienced in the Galapagos, or what would like to experience?

If You Go:

G Adventures  (*Save up to 25% on Last Minute Adventure Travel Packages) offers many options for Galapagos Adventures.

Learn more about the unique natural history on the islands:

2 thoughts on “All Aboard for Lizard Land in the Galapagos”

  1. Hi Megan! So nice to be traveling with you in Nebraska this week. Mind you, I’d love to visit the Galapagos where you’ve just been. Iguanas are so cool — I first met them in Mexico. Your photos here are great.

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