Floreana

Sep 10, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we visited the Island of Floreana located in the south of the archipelago. The island is full of history, due to the presence of pirates, whalers and several groups which established here at the end of the 1920s.

By the time we awoke, the sun was shining and the sky was blue with very few clouds around. This was ideal for our 6:30 a.m. early hike, because we wanted very good light to see the flamingoes at the visitor site’s lagoon, among other creatures of this beautiful location.

Along the trail we found some interesting land birds, such as finches and warblers; we also saw a Palo Santo forest, and we had the chance to smell this amazing tree’s fragrant sap. During the dry months of the year, the tree loses its leaves completely, and by the end of the year, when the first rains start, the tree and the whole forest turns green.

During the hike we were able to see two different beach areas, the first one is brown and green, because the sand there has olivine crystals and other minerals, while the second beach area is white and built by remains of coral and shells. Here we saw many turtle nests and some very fresh tracks which indicate they probably arrived at the beach the night before our visit.

After the hike, we had a wonderful breakfast and one hour later or so, we went snorkeling. When we were snorkeling, several sea lions approached us, with very playful intentions. As they watched, they seemed curious of us, their very clumsy fellow swimmers. We also saw a great variety of Galápagos fish, and a very interesting underwater topography.

Around noon, we had a delicious lunch, and after a short rest, we enjoyed several activities, such as kayaking, and paddleboarding, in this amazing little bay full of sea turtles.

By the end of the afternoon, we landed on Post Office Bay, a very iconic historical place in the Galápagos, to check the “funky” post barrel area, which was originally set at the end of the 1700s.

We ended the day with an amazing sunset, grateful for this great experience.

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About the Author

Lenin Villacis

Naturalist

Lenin was born in the capital city of Quito, where he grew up surrounded by the mountains and volcanoes of the Andean region of Ecuador. At age 17, he received a scholarship to study in Mexico, and a few years later traveled to the U.S. and finished college with a degree in Earth sciences. 

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