Hidden Treasures of Golden Hour at Elizabeth Bay in Galapagos
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We’re sharing our best photos of a recent vacation visit to Elizabeth Bay in the Galapagos Islands, home to sea turtles, mangrove trees, penguins and more. It was golden hour when we were there, and the serenity of the cove we explored was the perfect note on which to end our day of adventures.
where is Elizabeth Bay located?
Elizabeth Bay lies on the west coast of Isabela Island in the Galapagos Islands. It sits at the narrowest east-west extension, where lava flows from the Alcedo and Sierra Negra volcanos connected.
In the easternmost area of Elizabeth Bay, there’s a cove that can be entered only through a narrow channel. There, mangroves are abundant. There are red, white and black varieties of mangrove, some growing as tall as trees.
It’s one of the few places on Earth with this collection of natural elements: a large Mangrove forest abutted by an extensive black lava field.
Different animals prefer different parts of this beautiful and serene location. At the entrance to Elizabeth Bay, its easy to spot Blue-Footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins.
The mangrove cove is favored by green sea turtles, tree sea lions, and Great Blue Herons. The shallow water and extensive root system of the mangroves provide shelter and a safe resting place for smaller fish to hide from larger predators.
The hushed serenity of Elizabeth Bay means that even Zodiacs have to change their standard operations. On this tour, the Zodiac sailors used paddles instead of the motor to minimize noise and disruption and maximize the chances of seeing some of the most prevalent species in the area. Humans and animals all seemed to benefit from this unusual quietude.
photos and highlights from Elizabeth Bay
1. Galapagos Penguins
2. Sally Lightfoot Crabs
3. the mangrove cove
4. flightless cormorants
Flightless cormorants don’t stand out visually in the distinctive manner of other Galapagos birds. But we love their serene, elegant grace.
After they dive and hunt for fish, they stand on the shoreline and spread their wings to dry.
Their gorgeous earth toned plumage and piercing blue eyes make them the underrated stars of the mangrove cove.
5. green sea turtles
The Galapagos are famous for many unusual and unique species, and one the most beloved is the green sea turtle. The best way to spot one is going snorkeling. But one of the many pleasures of Elizabeth Bay is that you can see them easily in the clear waters.
Every now and then, you can even spot a head above the surface, as the turtles come up for air.
6. a magnificent Elizabeth Bay Sunset
We were fortunate enough to visit Elizabeth Bay at golden hour, when the light was liquid and golden and everything appeared to be even more ethereal.
Just as the sun was setting, it was time to head back to our ship for another night – the end of a perfect Galapagos day.
Elizabeth Bay Galapagos Islands
Those are some of our best photos of a recent vacation visit to Elizabeth Bay in the Galapagos Islands, home to green sea turtles, three varieties of mangrove trees, Galapagos penguins and more. It’s a sanctuary for the wildlife that live there – and also for those fortunate enough to visit even for just an afternoon.