Ecuador -- Galapagos Islands

Our trip to this enchanted land began in the city of Quito near the equator. We boarded our flight to the Galapagos for some incredible wildlife viewinig and place we had only read about.  The photos below display some of the sights we saw.

 

Flying into Quito you see the many volcanoes that are in this part of the Andes--this is Cotopaxi at 19,388 ft. Just north of the city the equator cuts through the country.  Here Sharon stands on the 00 00 00 line!
 
As we drove about before we flew to the Galapagos, the Andes were magnificent. Flying into San Cristobel on the Galapagos showed a beautiful town nestled on the ocean.
 
Marine iguana were in abundance on the various islands. This is a Darwin's finch which was a key factor in leading Charles Darwin to his Origin of the Species ideas.
 
This is a Sally lightfoot crab--very colorful but not really edible! Unusual birds like the blue-footed boobies shown here in a mating dance were common.
 
Not to be outdone the flowers were fantastic also. This is the owl-eyed butterfly--imagine a smaller bird trying to take on the "owl" within.
 
A puffed up frigate bird.  The red neck pouch is part of a mating/territorial display. The famous Galapagos tortoise were a sight to behold.  They were huge.
 
Orchids such as this were common in this island paradise. A sunset is a fitting way to say good bye to this beautiful place...full of wonder and awe inspiring.