Sombrero Chino & Sullivan Bay, Santiago

Jul 06, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


Kayakers had the great opportunity to get immersed in the epic scenery between the small Islet Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) and Santiago Island. Candelabra cacti spreading over an arid but impressive geological terrain provided a nice view for photographs.

Sally lightfoot crabs, lava herons, and great blue herons played an important role on this cinematographic landscape, but the Galápagos penguins were the real protagonists of this experience. Graceful swimming, elegance, and cuteness made them stand out this morning.

The water channel between Chinese Hat and Santiago Island was calm and completely clear today, and the sunny weather made snorkelling pleasant. As usual, we discovered and explored a whole underwater world full of colourful fish, sea stars, and occasional sharks that will remain in our memories forever. For the ones who were looking for some swimming and relaxation time, the small and beautiful beach on Chinese Hat was another highlight, and the perfect place to spend time with their beloved ones.

Back on board the ship from the upper deck, we observed a small salt crater lake on Bainbridge Islet, which also happens to be the habitat of a number of flamingos. With a very bright pink colour on their feathers, they made a great contrast against the pale brown background of the islet.

Kids enjoyed afternoon Zodiac driving lessons and got their official certificates after an intense but fun session across the seas.

Expedition Leader Vanessa Gallo thoroughly described the life and work of preeminent naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin. The voyage of the Beagle, adaptation, the origin of life, and other topics served as a source of inspiration and kept hovering in the heads of our gests as we embarked the Zodiacs for a walk on Sullivan Bay.

Sullivan´s terrain is covered by “pahoehoe” (lava that looks like a rope) and its geological beauty—its practically a giant abstract piece of art—left everyone astonished. This surface originally looked very different. Nevertheless, this territory has been under constant volcanic activity since the end of the 19th century, thus changing its surface dramatically, covering it with a thick layer of lava.  

At night, guests enjoyed a barbecue buffet dinner at the sky deck—a great way to end another successful adventure.

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Gabriel Tapia

Gabriel Tapia

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