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A Field Trip to The Galápagos with my Son

A Field Trip to The Galápagos with my 10-Year-Old Son by Dale Wills (Publisher of InTheBite) Upon receiving the invitation to visit San Cristobal, Galápagos from Juan Kayser and his Galapwonder Excursions, I immediately started to formulate a plan to include my son Zachary, who would turn ten just days before our departure. The trip took place February 25-March 2, 2020. With a little scheduling and a plan for school work, we were all set for our big adventure. Zachary certainly didnt mind missing four days of class either. The trip would consist of flying just over four hours from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador. A one-night hotel stay in Guayaquil before we boarded a 1 hour 30 minute flight the following morning from Guayaquil to San Cristobal in the Galápagos. Elliott Stark, the editor of InTheBite, was along for the ride, too. The big plan was sightseeing day one, then two full days of fishing and one inshore day of snorkeling and bottom fishing. From this point, Ill share plenty of images on what turned out to a very rewarding and amazing trip. Zachary was able to reel in a couple of nice striped marlin, see a variety of plants and animals and discover a skate park on San Cristbal. Thanks again to everyone who made our trip one to remember.  We saw a bunch of cool stuff- Darwin’s first island, animals and a skate park, now that’s evolution. DAY 1  

picture next to Galapagos Tortoise

Galapagos Tortoise


Plenty of turtles to see, but don’t touch.

Venturing around the Galapagos

A roadside stop with Zachary and Elliott and a creative background

Cactus in Galapagos

Just off the pathway to our first beach stop, a variety of cactus can be seen including these.

Galapagos Planet Hotel Staff

The friendly Galapagos Planet Hotel Staff (front to back) Juan Kayser, Head Chef William Nazaren, Manager Andres Kayser, Head Waiter Marcos Revelo, Receptionist Alvaro Zurita, Chef Carlos Pinto and Sous Chef Raquel Mora.

Marlin in the Galapagos

A landmark we passed each morning on our walk to the boat

Sea lions in San Cristobal

The sea lions were very entertaining to observe each morning.

Birds in the Galapagos

Early day one, after traveling 25 miles offshore, we watched as several species of birds and sea lions chased bait. This would turn out to be a daily occurrence. Below the water you could witness striped marlin swimming around the bait.

Fishing in the Galapagos

With a keen eye you can see the marlin tail cutting through the ocean’s surface. Another common occurrence.

Fishing for striped marlin in the Galapagos

Zachary battles his first striped marlin on 30-pound tackle.

Fishing in the Galapagos

Zachary learns a lesson of letting a fish run and adjusting the reel drag to wear down the marlin. Also conserving energy for the battle that lies ahead.

Striped marlin in the Galapagos

Almost there… following a 45 minute battle the striped marlin is close

Fishing in the Galapagos

Our onboard Park Ranger Javier guides the fighting chair for Zachary and both watch as the striped marlin dances across the ocean’s surface.

Fishing in the Galapagos

Zachary’s first attempt to reel in the elusive striped marlin is a success.

Birds in the Galapagos

Back to fishing around the many different species of sea birds

Captain Juan Kayser in the Galapagos

Captain Juan Kayser keeps a keen eye on the baits

Fishing in the Galapagos

Day two ride home. Beautiful blue water with large quantities of bait and manta rays near the harbor.

Sea lions and sunset in San Cristobal Galapagos

In the evening, a large number of sea lions return to this San Cristobal beach for rest. The sea lion cubs cry out for their moms and frolic over the other sea lions. It’s certainly a sight to see, and we really enjoyed watching them before our short walk to the hotel.

Scooters in the Galapagos

Zachary checking out the scooters for rent. We didn’t have time to ride.

San Cristobal Galapagos

San Cristobal was the first island Charles Darwin visited in the Galapagos – Sept 17, 1835. This was a monument we passed by each morning.

Sea lions in the Galapagos

Zachary finds a sleeping sea lion cub

Fishing in the Galapagos

Here we go again. 25 miles in search of

Fishing in the Galapagos

Are we having fun yet?

Fishing in the Galapagos

While trolling, we pass a swordfish slowing moving near the surface. Certainly not something you see often.

Porpoise in the Galapagos

Porpoise showing off near the boat.

Striped marlin in the Galapagos

Zachary’s second striped marlin release.

Sea lions in the Galapagos

Sea lions chasing bait offshore.

Fishing for mahi in the Galapagos

A few mahi around. This would eventually become tasty ceviche.

Fishing in the Galapagos

A return to the port after a successful day.

Fishing in the Galapagos In the evening, Zachary learns to make pizza, (from scratch) – The Lobster Shack. Chef Willie was very helpful.
Fishing in the Galapagos

The finished pizza pie.

Day 4
Snorkeling in the Galapagos at Kicker Rock

We begin the day with a snorkel adventure to León Dormido, aka Kicker Rock.

Snorkeling in the Galapagos

The group snorkeling. Below is a short video from this trip.

Fishing in the Galapagos

After snorkeling, we cruise around León Dormido checking out the different types of birds including these resting frigate birds.

Galapagos wildlife

Blue Footed Boobie

Galapagos wildlife

Frigate Bird

Galapagos wildlife

Next, we travel to a lava field on the coast of San Cristobal. León Dormido is still visible in the background.

Lava field in the Galapagos

The lava field is barren with very little vegetation other than cactus and a few weeds.

Lava tubes in the Galapagos

We visit a deep cave created from lava.

Fishing in the Galapagos

Our transportation, the Andale, a 1977 35′ Bertram sits at anchor as we visit the lava field.

Cactus in the Galapagos

A thriving Galapagos cactus on the lava field

Galapagos wildlife

Red Sally Lightfoot crabs are common on San Cristobal. Here we observe them while waiting for our dingy to return us back to the Andale.

Galapagos wildlife
Galapagos wildlife

Next up, we tried our luck bottom fishing near a rock called “5 fingers.”

Fishing in the Galapagos

We managed to catch several different kinds of fish including this strawberry ???

Fishing in the Galapagos

Elliott caught this nice black grouper.

Father son fishing trip in the Galapagos

Commemorative striped marlin release flag photo.

Fishing in the Galapagos

Group photo.

Fishing in the Galapagos

Back to the hotel for a final feast.

Father son fishing trip in the Galapagos

As per request, a final stop at the San Cristobal Skate Park

On behalf of Zachary, Elliott and myself, I’d like to say thanks again to Juan Kayser and the entire Galapwonder staff. Great times! Sea lion in the Galapagos That’s all for now folks! For more information on booking your trip to Galapwonder please e-mail [email protected]    Send us a message!