Floreana Island

Apr 09, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


It is a new day and we woke up in a new island. Today we visited Floreana Island, also known by its English name Charles Island. This island has a rich human history, visited by passing sailors, mysterious disappearances of temporary residents and the establishments of adventurous visitors looking to inhabit a place that until then only reptiles were capable to survive. However, today we focused on the natural history of this place, which is overwhelmingly beautiful.

In the morning, we started with a pre-breakfast hike on Cormorant Point. This visitors site is divided by two beaches, we disembarked on an olivine beach where we found sleeping Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies and flamingoes! As we continued with the hike, we arrived in a white-sanded beach that is also a nesting site for pacific green sea turtles. This visitor’s site shows how diverse one island can be in such a short distance and therefore how diverse the Galapagos Islands are.

The rest of the morning was spent in the water and shared with playful juvenile sea lions at Champion Islet. On land, this islet is home to one of the four mockingbirds found in the Galapagos Islands, the Floreana mockingbird. In the water, this islet is home to a wide variety of fish such as blue-chin parrotfish, razor surgeonfish, stone scorpion fish, king angelfish, among others, as well as rays, invertebrates and the occasional sea turtle!

After a delicious lunch, we disembarked on Post Office Bay to go back in time and continue with this place’s history. Post Office Bay has the oldest mailing system in the South Pacific Ocean, a wine barrel. Our guests got to be part of a tradition that have continued since the 1700s in which passing sailors dropped of mail for families and friends and collected any mail addressed to a destination they were heading, only to hand deliver that mail.

After Post Office Bay, some of our guests went kayaking around Floreana Island just before sunset time, it was definitely another beautiful day in the Galapagos Island, new experiences, new memories were created and will always stay with our guests and their families.

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About the Author

Gianna Haro

Naturalist

Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

About the Photographer

Africa Berdonces

Naturalist

Africa grew up in the Galápagos Islands where she spent her childhood exploring with her family, surrounded by exquisite nature. She took her first scuba diving lesson with her father off the coast of Sombrero Chino Island when she was just 12 years old. That first dive opened up a new and unexplored part of the natural world to her. Africa became enchanted by local marine life and went on to become a divemaster, working as both a dive guide and naturalist in her beloved islands.

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