Chinese Hat & Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island

Jan 19, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


Santiago was the island in which Darwin spent most of his time in the Galapagos, and we head there overnight in order to spend Friday in the area. After breakfast we went on a Zodiac ride along the coast of “Sombrero Chino”, or “Chinese Hat”, which is properly named after its shape. Snorkelers left at 10am to submerge themselves into the marine world for almost two hours of unbelievable colors, schools of fish, reef sharks, rays, eels, and more.

Navigating near Bainbridge islet gave us the opportunity to see a lagoon formed inside a crater and two pink spots inside….flamingoes! Lunch always offers a great chance to recharge out batteries, rest in the deck hammocks for a little siesta before continuing with the day’s program.

Our naturalist, Gaby, gave us a pertinent talk on the life of Charles Darwin, just to understand a little bit more about the context of this man before getting into more details of his discoveries in Galapagos.

Sullivan bay is breathtaking as we land on it. A huge lava field of mainly pahoehoe, or ropy lava, and as Cindy, our expedition leader said, Michael Angelo had nothing on Mother Nature. The shapes and geological formations that we found on this walk made us question, just like it did to Darwin and other sailors before him, about the origins and changes that earth undergoes during long periods of time.

We came back on board and had the chance to encounter a full size Galapagos penguin which is 30cm tall, third smallest in the word and the only one breading in the tropics. Everybody is dressed and ready for our daily recap, but the fun is not over because we enjoyed a delicious barbeque dinner on the upper deck organized by our hotel manager, Daniel. There was also an open mic night with Christian Saa our talented naturalist, and many others joined. Now we need a good night of sleep to be prepared for tomorrows outing to Genovesa. 

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About the Author

Anahi Concari

Anahi Concari

About the Photographer

Cindy Manning & Anahi Concari

Cindy Manning & Anahi Concari

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