James Island

Sep 06, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II

With the first light of the morning, the National Geographic Endeavour II arrives to the northwestern side of James Island. This is a very sunny morning, calm seas and clear skies, our explorers prepare for a pre breakfast exploration at “Espumilla” beach. Several groups land on the very volcanic beach surrounded by bright green mangroves. Our guests venture into an unusually green forests made of mostly giant mangroves, the hike takes us to a great look out point that over sees the shore line and a couple of intertidal lagoons formed by the high tide. We also offered a photo walk led by our photo instructors, and our guests enjoyed and leaned by capturing great images to share.

After a great breakfast, the National Geographic Endeavour II repositions to Buccaneers Cove, once in the site we deploy our fleet of kayaks and zodiacs in order to begin with the water activities. This is a very scenic landscape right before our eyes, as we cruise along the shore with the group of kayakers. The group of snorkelers explore the underwater realm teeming with life, a series of collapses decorate the seafloor and provide a diverse habitat for several species of fish.

After lunch we reposition to “Puerto Egas” at south James Bay, we offer an option to go to the beach for swimming and snorkeling and a later option to hike along the intertidal zone of the area. This is an incredible nature walk; the wildlife along the shore is overwhelming. Sea lions, fur seals, great blue herons, sally light-foot crabs and very dramatic lava flows are some of the highlights of the afternoon.

This is the best time in the year to observe the newborn sea lion pups, as they are playing in the intertidal pools close to their mothers. They often behave inquisitive towards travelers and interact directly with them on land and underwater.

Our guests return to the National Geographic Endeavour II with the sunset light, smiles and great experiences lived on James Island. 

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About the Author

Socrates Tomala

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Socrates was raised on Santa Cruz Island located in the heart of Galapagos Archipelago.  After a childhood filled with swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing and volunteering in conservation projects, he grew very passionate about the outdoors and the natural world. 

About the Photographer

Gaby Bohorquez


Gaby was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Her first job in the Galapagos was on board a 90-passenger cruise ship as the cruise director’s assistant, and she fell under the spell of the Enchanted Isles. She returned to Guayaquil to study at the Espiritu Santo Technological University to obtain a degree in Tourism Management. Her fascination for the islands was still strong so, after finishing her studies, Gaby took the opportunity to join the Naturalist Guide’s course, jointly organized by the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station. That was back in 1992, and she has been a naturalist since, keeping her deep love and passion for the islands during all these years.

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