I walked along a long white sandy beach where our group came across what looked like a 200 year old barrel, surrounded by driftwood and other items that were placed, or had washed up around the barrel. We were on Floreana Island sifting through a pile of postcards waiting to be delivered from the Galapagos Islands. Cities all around the world were listed on the postcards, and we were in search of our city, or one nearby, where we could hand deliver these stamp free postcards.
What is Post Office Bay?
First used by whalers, Post Office Bay has been running since 1700’s as a mail delivery system for sailors who wrote home to their families during their long journeys at sea. It is one of the few man-made sites that is visited in the Galapagos, and a must see if you are exploring Floreana Island.
The original barrel the whalers left has been replaced a few times, but the tradition still lives on. Tourists still use Post Office Bay to send letters home to themselves or loved ones via personal delivery to experience the power of travel.
What to do at Post Office Bay
– Drop off a few postcards of your own to be delivered, adding to the chain of mail being sent around the world.
– Search through the postcards in the box and find an address near where you live, that you can hand deliver the postcard to.
Recently tourists have been picking an address in their own country and then adding a stamp to it, and mailing it, when they get back from their trip. We encourage you to carry on the tradition and find one close by that you will be able to reach in person. This helps to share the story of Post Office Bay and meet new travelers along the way.
– Ask your group where everyone’s hometown is, so as you go through the mail you can yell out different cities and help each other find postcards to deliver.
– Bring the mail back home with you and make time to connect with the person on the other end of the postcard.
But, isn’t it weird to deliver mail in person to a stranger?
Be prepared to tell the story of how you got the postcard and the many miles it has traveled to their front door. Most likely the person you are delivering it to is a fellow traveler and avid explorer who will be excited to hear the trip the postcard has made. We usually hear stories about how after delivering a piece of mail from the Galapagos you end up talking travel for a few hours with the new friends you met.
It’s like a message in a bottle that is thrown out to sea.
You leave a postcard on a remote island in the Galapagos, having no idea if it will ever make it to your friend or family, and when it does it becomes a pretty incredible travel story!
Join us on our Itinerary A , which visits Floreana Island and stops by Post Office Bay, a Galapagos adventure you won’t want to miss!