If you can't make it to the Galapagos, the Isla de la Plata will make up for your disappointment.
About 20 miles by boat from Puerto Lopez, Ecuador, the island gets its name from the bird guano that shrouds much of the island and looks silver in bright sunlight or full moonlight. It is a bird sanctuary for blue-footed boobies and frigate birds and is also home to two varieties of rare lizards. Several tour operators in Puerto Lopez offer trips - we got ours at a discounted price through the manager of the hostal where we stayed (Hostal Yemaya) paying $35 each rather than the $50 originally asked. The boat took only eight guests in addition to the tour guide, captain and cabin boy who were all very helpful, so it was a very intimate friendly experience. Landing on the island we used the restrooms, got bottled water and then set out on the hike up to the top of the island. It was very hot and dry (so no smoking anywhere on the island!) but there are shelters at various locations to allow you to cool down. At the first one, we encountered a booby preening her feathers. While we took photos, at no more than three or four feet away from her, she gave us a nonchalant glance and continued cleaning and straightening and then gave us another look as if to say, "enough, already. Can't I have a little privacy?" Frigate birds abound. The males have red throat pouches which they expand to attract females, and again, they will allow humans within fairly close proximity. As we returned to the bay I spotted one of the rare, endangered lizards. There are fabulous views from all parts of the island. After the hike, which was about three hours from start to finish, we reboarded the boat and sailed to a cove where giant sea turtles congregate. Snorkeling is available here - I can't snorkel but I did swim in the beautiful clear Pacific with these gentle giants. Below me, clown fish and angel fish swarmed in the warm ocean. It was an amazing experience and worth every penny. No, it's not the Galapagos but it is still a wonderful place.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.