Day 13 – March 24: Galapagos #4 – James Island, Chinese Hat, Egas Port, Bainbridge

Galapagos Islands Travel Blog

 › entry 15 of 26 › view all entries
Mexican Hat Island



We did a “wet” landing to a black sand beach on James Island.  There is a dilapidated building that used to belong to the salt operation, but otherwise the island is deserted.


All of our beach things were left high on the beach, and then we hiked up on top of the island.  It was partly on sand and partly on lava.  The temperature was pleasant at first, but it got hot quickly.


Most of the animals were the same as before with the exception of the fur sea lion, and lots of big spiders in the trees.  We also saw “Darwin’s Toilet” where the water “flushes” through the lava tubes into a circular pool.


When we got back to the beach, we could hear the crew members from the 3 boats playing soccer on the one flat area on the island near the salt building.  It sounded exciting!


We all went snorkeling off the beach.  It felt good after the hot hike.  The highlights of the snorkel were the sting rays.  The reef was pretty shallow and the sun was out, so everything looked colorful under the water.



·         Lava Heron

·         Marine Iguana

·         Flightless Cormorant

·         Sally Lightfoot Crabs

·         Ruddy Turnstone (migratory)

·         Oyster Catcher (migratory)

·         Galapagos Mockingbird

·         Fur Sea Lion

·         Plever

·         Lava Lizards (gray)

·         Black Ani birds (introduced)




Chinese Hat is an island next to James Island that looks only slightly like a pointy Chinese hat.

Marine Iguanas


In the afternoon, we went snorkeling in the channel between James Island and Chinese Hat.  Most of us wore wetsuits, but we didn’t really need them, and it was hard to swim underwater with them on.


On these snorkels, the panga follows closely, so if anyone wants to get out or take a rest, they can get in the boat, and then jump back in the water if they want.



·         White tipped reef shark

·         Galapagos reef shark

·         Penguins

·         Marine iguanas swimming underwater

·         Sea cucumber

·         Sea stars

·         Diamond sting ray

·         Eagle ray




Bainbridge Island is another collapsed volcano, but this one forms a donut filled with brackish water.  On one side, the wall is low enough that you can see inside.  And inside are flamingos!  Our boat drove amazingly close to wall of the island, and on the far side were a whopping 9 flamingos.  They were pretty small that far away, but the color was brilliant pink, so they were easy to see.




The boat continued to drive to our next stop, Bartolome Island.  The harbor at Bartolome was quite busy with 6 boats spending the night there.  It was nice to not be moving during the night – there was less noise and less rocking.


Tonight was a special surprise!  One of the young girls had her 10th birthday!  The dining room and lounge area were decorated with balloons and streamers.

  The birthday girl got to steer the boat in the bridge.  After dinner, the entire crew came out with a birthday cake with candles, singing happy birthday.  Then they sang a number of other Ecuadorian songs accompanied by guitar.  One song was for dancing, so everyone got up to dance, including the limbo.  The captain of the ship danced with the birthday girl.  It was quite the party!



Everyone wore shorts and short-sleeved shirts over their swimsuits.  Some people wore sandals for the hike, and some wore shoes, but it was a wet landing, so the shoes had to be carried to be kept dry.  Some people had troubles keeping the sand out of their shoes.

No wetsuits were needed for snorkeling.


Breakfast was a buffet of pancakes, sausage, bacon, toast, cereal, fruit, sandwich meat, cheese, and yogurt.

After our morning excursion, we had pear juice and crackers with caramel and powdered sugar.

Lunch started with a bean ceviche soup, and then there was a buffet of avocado/lettuce/bean sprout salad, mashed potato balls with sauce, rice, fried plantains with cheese, chicken with sauce, pork with sauce, and mixed fruit salad.  The meat was a little dry, but everything else was quite tasty.

After our afternoon excursion, we had juice and something that resembled undercooked biscuits (tasty though).

For the kids’ dinner, they had chicken nuggets and fried potatoes.

The adult dinner was a buffet of albacore tuna with sauce, fettuccini in a light tomato sauce, asparagus, salad, zucchini, and rice.  Dessert was birthday cake

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Mexican Hat Island
Mexican Hat Island
Sally Lightfoot Crabs
Sally Lightfoot Crabs
Marine Iguanas
Marine Iguanas
Galapagos Islands
photo by: Melboorn