Fernandina and Isabela Islands

Apr 30, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Early in the morning, we woke up to calm seas and a wonderful view of all the volcanoes along the coast of Isabela Island. From the top deck, we searched for marine mammals, and we were lucky to spot a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins.

After breakfast, we had a dry landing on the youngest of the Galapagos Islands, known as Fernandina. It felt like we were transported back in time, to walk through pristine lava fields and a large density of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas.   During the hike, we were able to spot a few Pacific green sea turtles resting in the shallow waters, as well as some flightless cormorants drying their wings on the lava rocks.

We learned about young ecosystems, primary succession and the geology of this incredible site.  After the walk, we suited up for snorkeling along the coast, and we were amazed by the marine life here; so many Pacific Green sea turtles, marine iguanas feeding underwater, and sea lions playing with us. What an incredible time!

After lunch, we navigated towards the nose of the sea horse-shaped island, to a place known as Punta Vicente Roca. Here we went on a Zodiac cruise in search of wildlife along the coast. We were lucky to spot several ocean sunfish, with their dorsal fins on the surface of the calm seas, as well as several Pacific green sea turtles and a couple of Galapagos penguins resting on the rocks.

After the ride, we crossed the Equator line, and welcomed our guests to the northern hemisphere with a glass of champagne on hand and a beautiful sunset!

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About the Author

Jonathan Aguas

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jonathan was born into one of only a handful of families that reaches back five generations in Galápagos, in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. He first left the islands when he won a highly-coveted scholarship to finish his studies in the U.S.  This was the start of his life-long passion for science and languages. He earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of Florida and later spent time in Europe, where he learned French. He is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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