Santiago Island

Jan 25, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Today we spent the whole day on Santiago Island. This was the island where Charles Darwin visited for nine days and we followed in his steps! There were early outings at Espumilla beach including kayaking, to natural history walks, and photography walks. It was a delight for our guests to observe the sea birds feeding as well as the symphony of songs performed by Darwin finches and Galapagos mockingbirds! After breakfast the National Geographic Islander was repositioned towards Buccaneers Cove, a site used by pirates and whalers, now a great place for a scenic Zodiac ride and amazing deep water snorkeling. The large school of different species of fish was overwhelming, and Mobulas, reef sharks, and sting rays were spotted too! In the afternoon we visited Puerto Egas, a great place to enjoy the black sandy beach and a nice walk along the coastal area. W returned on board close to sunset and it was another great day in this magical and remote paradise!

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About the Author

Vanessa Gallo


Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries.

About the Photographer

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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