San Cristobal Island

Sep 22, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

We have had a wonderful week exploring the Galapagos Islands, one of the last pristine places on earth. Today was the last full day of our expedition. We had a lot of fun seeing unique animals and plants, as well as snorkeling in warm and cold waters. We’ve kayaked and went paddleboarding, we’ve played with sea lions, penguins, multi-color fish, and rays. We also had the chance to swim closely with sharks!  It’s been a fantastic week with so many special sightings and so much contrast; Just a few months ago, these islands were green with rain, and now, they are dry with drizzle. Currently, the trees are dormant, and finches are looking for food. The breeding season is around December, so for now, the iconic birds’ main goal is finding nourishment.

Today with the morning sun over our heads, we visited Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island. We landed on a brown sandy beach for a stroll, and walked on the old volcanoes through the forest in search of red-footed boobies. We found blue-footed boobies and eventually reached a nesting colony of red-footed boobies! Some of us went for Zodiac rides instead of the hike. We also had the opportunity to see so many creatures on the cliffs of the offshore islets. At the end of these activities, we discovered the marine realm with our snorkeling gear. The water was refreshing and worth trying.

In the afternoon we anchored off Cerro Brujo for another visit. This place is fascinating at any time, but especially at sunset, as sea lions rest and play in the shallow waters and seabirds can be spotted foraging close to the shore. This white sand beach and its surrounding landscape with turquoise water offers you some of the best photography opportunities of the journey.

In the evening, we had our farewell toast and dinner. Our guests felt a mixture of joy and sadness. Joy because of their experience, and sadness because the dream was over. “You will leave Galapagos, but Galapagos will never leave you” a true statement said by our expedition leader.

We finished another great adventure through this incredible and complex ecosystem filled with wildlife.

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About the Author

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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