Santiago Island

Aug 23, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II

In the center of the Galapagos Islands lies this large island in which flora and fauna abound.

Early in the morning before breakfast, we set off for the first outing of the day. A wet landing on a brown beach marks the beginning of a fantastic expedition, some of the groups head inland for an invigorating hike through Palo Santo and mangrove forest with many species of land birds. Finches, mockingbirds, doves and others come across as you head on. Others just decided to stay around the beach for a more specific photo session. Here an incredible amount of life and activity.

One of the fantastic appearances was a Galapagos hawk that came around in search of emerging baby turtles or other animals like crabs or lizards for food.

Back on board for breakfast while the ship is repositioned to be close to our next destination with the name of Buccaneers cove. Here we enjoy several options like kayaking along the beautiful cliffs that surround the area usually with species of sea birds like sea gulls, boobies and pelicans just to mention a few.

Another r activity is rounds of glass bottom boat sessions form where you can enjoy the Galapagos underwater realm without getting wet, and for those that want to get wet a deep water option is set up for the encounter of fish, sea lions, turtles, rays and even sometimes sharks that are abundant in this waters.

The morning is over and we are all happy just ready for lunch to continue the expedition.

Another location on Santiago awaits, this time one called Puerto Egas in honor of the man who promoted some salt mining in this area for mainland people as a profitable business in the 1920’s, only  remains of it are seen today as this was declared National Park in 1958.

The afternoon was very interesting with some groups going on a hike along the shore to see the marvelous and varied wildlife of this place. Marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, all kinds of marine and migratory species can be seen and photographed without much difficulty. Some people just decided to take it easy staying on the beach just taking pictures, strolling along or snorkeling in the waters with incredible wildlife.

This was another fantastic day in Galapagos which ended with sun setting behind the volcanos around us.

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About the Author

Patricio Maldonado

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Patricio, better known as Pato amongst his friends, was born in the Galápagos Island. His family moved to the islands from the mainland and settled on the island of Santa Cruz over thirty-five years ago. Pato had an enchanted childhood in the islands, where his keen interest in the wildlife of the Galápagos was born initially through catching lizards and observing how they lost their tails. His experiences in the islands have led him to teach visitors about the need to protect this rare and unique environment.

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