From the National Geographic Islander in Galápagos
Dec 27, 2012 - National Geographic Islander
South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands
Today the Galápagos expedition brought us to one of the most beautiful places in the archipelago, and the best way to begin our exploration was by visiting South Plaza Island. After a comfortable Zodiac ride along the cliffs, we had a dry landing at a place virtually covered by Galápagos sea lions. Farther along the trail the magnificence of the place was manifested in the presence of one of the most iconic reptiles of Galápagos: the land iguana. A symphony of colors was on display by the island’s landscape making a beautiful combination of lava rocks, red sesuvium, prickly pear cactus, with the blue sky as background.
As we reached the farthest point of the trail, we enjoyed a magnificent view of the cliff area. A lot of different wildlife was found in the area, which made it perfect for enjoying the presence of different kinds of seabirds: brown pelicans flying, red billed tropic birds singing, Galápagos shearwaters soaring, and frigate birds gliding above us. Once we arrived back to the National Geographic Islander, we got everything ready in order to start navigating for our next destination: Santa Fe Island.
In the afternoon our exploration got better, and a set of different activities was waiting for us at Santa Fe Island. The first activity was the exploration of the underwater world, and deep water snorkeling was the best way for a superb beginning to our afternoon activities. Once in the water, the marvels of the Galápagos Marine Reserve were displayed in several different manners: colorful reef fish found all over the rocky area, diamond sting rays resting on the sandy bottom and playful Galápagos sea lions that were our companions during the activity.
After snorkeling was over, there was no time to waste, so we geared up for a splendid hike in order to explore inner Santa Fe Island. The wonders of Santa Fe were witnessed from the very beginning as we had a wet landing on a place crowded by Galápagos sea lions. Farther along the trail we saw several Galápagos species that live on the island; but the most emblematic of all was the Santa Fe land iguana. At the end of exploration, we enjoyed a marvelous view of the place with the sunset as a magnificent adornment for our fantastic journey. This was like no other day in the living paradise of the Galápagos Islands.