This trip was packed with non-stop adventures. Upon arriving in Santa Cruz, we were immersed in the culture. The airport was not anything like the airports in the States. The way of life, I quickly realized, was very relaxed. We stayed at this hostel which was one of the highlights for me. The family was so welcoming and greeted us with juice and cold towels to put on our necks because they knew we had a long day of travel.
We were able to go to the Charles Darwin Research Center and it was super interesting to see the projects the research center had introduced to help the invasive species problem. The tour guides were also very knowledgeable about the tortoises. Most of my information about the species came from the tour guides.
Once we got to San Cristóbal we were able to see, at El Chato Ranch, the different tortoise species on this island. Being able to compare the two different tortoise species (domed and saddleback) was truly one of the most memorable experiences since we had been talking about them in class. San Cristóbal was much smaller than Santa Cruz, and I liked it more. This island also had more sea lions to see which was so interesting. I liked being able to see the differences between the two islands. We got to see a totally different culture and then within that culture we saw two separate ways of life. This really helped to compare and get a bigger perspective on the people and food. San Cristobal had fewer options for eating and activities but overall it felt more relaxing.
Some of the activities we did while in the Galapagos included snorkeling, visiting a tree house, playing soccer with the locals, visiting tortoise sites, beaches, and much more. It was extremely hot there so after a long day of exploring it was so nice to be able to go into the ocean and cool off. This trip was my first time snorkeling and it was completely unforgettable. Being open to trying new foods or activities enhanced my trip tremendously. I was able to snorkel above a sea turtle, eat local street food, and even brush up on my Spanish speaking skills.
This trip was so unforgettable, and I was able to get closer with my classmates and see all the things we had talked about in class first hand.
Isabell Denton is majoring in Accounting. She spent Spring Break 2019 in the Galapagos, Ecuador as part of a faculty-led trip through the Honors College. Isabell had the following to say about her time abroad, “Everyone should travel at least once to somewhere they have always wanted to go. If you have an open mind going into study abroad you are sure to have an unforgettable trip.”
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