We’ve found paradise. Genuine paradise. Glorious beaches with the bluest, most crystal clear sea that I’ve ever seen; filled with the friendliest animals such as sea lions, fish and of course the infamous green sea turtles. We’ve been staying at the Hacienda Tranquila, which is in a beautiful spot with giant tortoises that we’ve been to visit and feed; they really are magnificent creatures. On the first night we celebrated Carnival in the town and it was great to be a part of such a significant tradition of Ecuadorian culture!

This place is like no other and I’ve never felt more privileged to be able to visit the amazing places and do the amazing things that we have done this week! On Tuesday we went on a 360 tour of San Cristóbal to see Kicker Rock, which had to be one of the most magical days of my life – we snorkelled and I saw my first sea turtle, 3 different types of shark (Galápagos shark, white tipped reef shark and the black tipped shark) 3 different types of ray (eagle, marbled and sting) as well as hundreds of species of multi-coloured beautiful fish. And that was just in the sea! There were blue footed, red footed and nasca booby birds at many of the places we stopped at and they as well are beautiful animals. It was an indescribable day!

This weekend we’ve been doing some island hopping and have spent the most time on Isabela which is very volcanic yet still so green with mangroves. We’ve learnt so much about the formation of the Galápagos and the animals here as well as managing to see all of the animals here like the playful sea lions, marine iguanas, flamingos and even some Galápagos penguins, which have to be the cutest animals I’ve ever seen!

As part of our volunteering we helped out on a farm weeding the fields (Agato definitely helped us prepare for this!). We also did some work with disabled children doing horse therapy to relax them – it was such a lovely morning followed by a communal meal with the families of the children! We have also recently said farewell to 2 of our lovely team members, Luke and Brianna who will be sadly missed by all of us.

As the first week of Galápagos ends, we’ve all definitely learnt one vital lesson – suncream is a must and we definitely learnt the hard way! Safe to say our bodies are still a bit sore from the burn, but hopefully there’ll be some tanning happening soon.