Floreana

Nov 06, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we visited the island of Floreana, located in the southern realm of the archipelago. The island is full of history, due to the presence of pirates and whalers during 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In the 1900s, several groups lived on the island, and by the end of 1920s finally a group established there permanently.

When we awoke in the morning, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, with very few clouds around. This was ideal for our 6:30 am early hike, because we wanted very good light to see the flamingoes and other creatures at the brackish pond located in the site. 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 the fragrant scent of the sap of this amazing tree. 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 whole forest turns green.

This morning we were able to see two different beach areas—the first one is brown and green, because the sand contains olivine crystals and other minerals, and the second beach is white, built by remains of coral and shells. Here we saw many turtle nests and some very fresh tracks, probably from individuals that arrived to the beach the night before our visit.

After the hike, we had a wonderful breakfast, and soon after we went snorkeling. When we were snorkeling, several playful sea lions approached to us, very curious to investigate these very clumsy fellow swimmers. We also saw a great variety of fish of the Galapagos, and a very interesting underwater topography.

Around noon, we had a delicious lunch, and after a short rest, we offered kayaking and paddle boarding, at an amazing little bay full of sea turtles and eagle rays.

By the end of the afternoon, we landed on Post Office Bay, a very iconic historical place in the Galapagos, to check the post barrel office, which was originally set up at the end of the 1700s.

We ended the day with an amazing sunset, very happy after all 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. In 1994 he returned to Ecuador to undergo a training course to become a naturalist guide for his incredibly rich and biodiverse home country, and started working in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador. 

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