Santa Cruz & Daphne Islands

Feb 28, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


This journey continues as we visit the northern coast of Santa Cruz. A relatively dry environment in comparison with the lush southern coast as this is in the rain shadow of the island. We explore Dragon Hill finding land iguanas mixed with close relatives of lava lizards and the marine iguana. Flycatchers flit about feeding and the occasional mocking bird declares its territory. A forest of opuntia prickly pear cactus lines our path as we return to the coast.  Exploration of the surrounding sea allows us a look at the three-dimensional world and the unique species found there. The afternoon finds us explore the coastal mangrove environment. As the sun falls into the horizon, we circumnavigate Daphne Island and learn of the incredible scientific study of Darwin finches found on this island and their evolutionary history.

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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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