Floreana Island

Dec 05, 2017 - National Geographic Islander

This morning we are anchored at Floreana Island. Our activities started before breakfast at Punta Cormorant and the rest of the day was spent visiting different sites of Floreana. This island is mostly dry and made up of hundreds of volcanic cones. It also has a small human settlement and some farming areas in the green highlands.

In the morning we landed at Punta Cormorant on the north side of Floreana. As soon as we landed we started to explore the Palo Santo forest. At Punta Cormorant there is a brackish lagoon surrounded with different types of mangrove trees. This lagoon is the right habitat for different types of creatures such as herons, shore birds, flamingos, and sometimes we can find some sea birds, such as pelicans.

At the end of our early outing we came back to the ship and we moved to Champion Islet. We explored this island from our Zodiacs for about an hour. During the Zodiac exploration we had sightings of different species of sea birds perched on rocky cliffs, flying close to the water, or fishing along the shore. Some of the bird species we saw were blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies, brown pelicans, tropicbirds and the iconic Floreana mocking bird among many others.    

This place is also one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos. The numbers of tropical fish and the varieties you can discover within an hour is stunning!

After lunch and a deserved rest, we are ready again, this time to visit the iconic Post Office barrel which helped whalers and other early navigators of the South Pacific leave correspondence to communicate on long voyages with their families. Still in use by visitors today, we read the address and if it is near home, we just take it and hand deliver it to make new friends. To finish the day’s expedition, we set out for Zodiac rides to see captivating landscape and abundant flora.

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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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