Sombrero Chino & Santiago Islands

Jan 05, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


This journey has taken us from the oldest islands within the archipelago west, towards the newest and most volcanically active islands. As we awake at Sombrero Chino we are surrounded by tuff and spatter cones with a dark basaltic lava flow. The turquoise waters surround us as we start our exploration of the surrounding area and the undersea realm. Penguins flit among us as they fish, and we are surrounded by a three dimensional world of sharks, fish, rays, and colorful sea stars.  A short navigation brings us directly to a metallic black lava flow which we venture over in all of its glory, surrounded by volcanic cones. As the sun dips we encounter Galapagos penguins finishing their day by landing and drying off in the late afternoon sun. 

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About the Author

Jason Heilmann

Expedition Leader

Growing up in northern California, Jason was surrounded by the incomparable nature of the Pacific Northwest. While attending university there, Jason met and eventually married an Ecuadorian woman who happened to be from a small group of islands off the coast of western South America. It was thus that Jason’s path led him to Ecuador and, in time, to one of the most revered natural environments on earth, the Galápagos Islands.

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