AM: Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast of Isabela Island, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. The most unique feature at Urbina Bay resulted from a major uplift of the island in 1954, when a 6km stretch of coral reef rose up 5 metres, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore and coral exposed on the land. Urbina Bay has a path that starts at the beach where a wet landing is made, and takes you through the sand, pumice, lava, coral and vegetation. Flightless cormorants, pelicans, Darwin’s finches, giant tortoises and land and marine iguanas can be seen on land, whilst rays and turtles can be seen in the bay. It is an ideal place to see red and blue lobsters and a great place for snorkelling. There is also a large amount of interesting vegetation including chamomile and rosewood, as well as the beautiful flowers of the Galapagos or Darwin’s cotton, endemic to the Galapagos Islands.
PM: Tagus Cove
Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. Its name originated from a British warship that went through the islands in 1814 looking for the Galapagos tortoise for food. This was a favourite spot for pirates and whalers who etched their names into the cliffs and inside caves. Due to explosive eruptions that have occurred at the site, the substrate has a large amount of volcanic rocks of different sizes. Among the most common are small spherically shaped balls known as the "lapilli" or petrified rain.
A short, steep hike brings you past Darwin Lake, a deep saltwater lake and a great spot for viewing land birds such as ground and tree finches, hawks, large-billed flycatchers, yellow warblers and sometimes the woodpecker finch.