Santiago Island

Jul 13, 2017 - National Geographic Islander

Our early morning optional walk takes us to a central large island know as Santiago. This is a goat free island with many repopulated baby-giant terrorise roaming freely now. This success is a result of conservation, education and funding and today we are here.

Espumilla was our next visitor site and a gentle, misty rain locally called “garua” welcomed us on one side and a rainbow on the other. A wet landing on a brown sandy beach where blue footed boobies, pelicans and brown noddy terns were feasting on sardines and salemas. All of this was on our right as we strolled along the beach. On our left were mangroves, ghost crabs crawling out of their homes harvesting plankton, land birds like Galapagos flight-catchers, mocking birds, and the world famous Darwin finches. We experienced all of this wildlife before breakfast.

Some guests opted for aquatic activities like kayaking along the shore for close encounters with nature and tranquillity while in reverence of true isolation. 

We returned back onboard for breakfast and to reposition to our next visitor site, Buccaneers Cove. We all had different choices- kayaking, Zodiac rides, and snorkelling. Whichever option was taken this place delivered fun and beautiful experiences together with loved ones. On this voyage we have many families and our children are having a moment of a lifetime, one that we hope changes their lives and even better, changes the course of human kind with their newfound appreciation of nature. We do know Galapagos has the power to change. We are honoured to be part of their expedition.

We went back to the National Geographic Islander for lunch and then we were ready for our next site, Puerto Egas which is located at the western part of Santiago Island. Here we prepared for a wet landing at the beach for swimming, playing, building sand castles, resting or a short, fun walk along the beach.

Soon after we all gathered to start our walk, a 1.5 mile loop that takes us along the grottos where fur-seals have their colony. A volcanic frozen lava flows served as a prop to take us back in time. Marine iguanas, Sally light-foot crabs, seabirds, landscapes, sunset and sea breezes made this walk one to remember.

We were all back onboard learning about research and adventures from our Expedition Leader in addition to finding out about tomorrow’s program. We are all a big family, together and ready for our next adventure.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Gal├ípagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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