Dragon Hill and Daphne Islet
Located at the center of Galapagos, Santa Cruz is the second largest island on the archipelago. After a short navigation early in the morning, we arrived to Dragon Hill, named in honor of one of the iconic endemic species of the islands, the land iguana. It was a sunny and windy day, as we headed to the landing dock, observing some migratory birds and blue-footed boobies resting on the rocks along the shallows. Juvenile sea lions captivated our guests. Walking through the small forest of cacti, we observed their long thorns, used to protect them against predators such as iguanas and giant tortoises, found along this part of the island. We crossed the white beach, observing great blue herons and some marine iguanas warming up with the first beams of the day. As we travelled inland, the landscape changed dramatically as we arrived to a forest of stripped palo santo trees, having all shed their leaves, in order to avoid dehydration during the dry season. Behind the beach, two flamingos walked indifferently along the brackish lagoon, lowering their heads into the water and feeding on small crustaceans. Closer to the shore, black-necked stilts and some phalaropes walked along the mud catching small crabs.
We finally arrived to the land iguana’s territory. Read More>
Sep 30, 2015
National Geographic Endeavour