Genovesa Island

Mar 03, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

We have reach the final full day in the Galápagos Islands. After six hours of navigation, early in the morning we arrived with a nice sunrise to the island of the birds. At the same time flocks of red-footed boobies were heading to their feeding grounds located at the northeastern corner of the Galápagos Archipelago.

The morning opened with kayaking and paddle board outing along the cliff of an old collapsed caldera in Genovesa Island. We spotted different species of sea birds as well as marine mammals such as the allusive fur sea lions. At Darwin Bay we took a walk along of a tidal channel and due to the low tide, we were able to have access to restricted areas where we found yellow night crown herons and swallow-tailed gulls with their chick. Likewise, frigate birds, sharp-beak finches also known as “vampire finches” and mockingbird where sighted into the saltbushes. Afterward, we head back to the National Geographic Islander to get ready for an experience of a lifetime in the deep-water snorkeling.

The underwater realm was ready to offer us a wide variety of fish typical from warm water. For instance, hammer head shark, parrotfish, wrasse, yellow fin tuna, moorish idol and few other species of fish from the indo pacific region where spotted in the calm warm water of Darwin Bay.  An interesting morning in one of the most pristine island in the Galapagos Islands paid off.

The afternoon excursion took place at Prince Phillip’s steps. We walked through the green incense trees and yellow cordia forest that led us to a lava field. During our walk, we sighted red-footed boobies and the endemic Nazca booby with their chicks, some recently hatched while other already fletching. Our natural quest took us to unblemished rusted lava due to the exposure to the oxygen. The volcanic flows with a lot crevices and small lava tubes are perfect places for short-ear owls to hide from their preys. After a lot patience scanning the lava field we sighted three owls few feet away.

Our day ended listening the Mother Nature throughout the sounds of the birds, wind and breaking waves while the sun was setting at the horizon.

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About the Author

Greg Aranea


Greg was born in the large Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to the Galápagos in search of a better future for their family. Greg grew up in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, where his parents worked in the tourism industry.  His father often took Greg with him on the vessel he worked on and thus Greg was able to discover the wildlife and beauty of the Galápagos. This awoke in him a passion for nature from an early age.

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