San Cristobal Island

Dec 14, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today is our last day in paradise, on this adventure that seems unreal. We have all bonded as one, even though we are from different backgrounds, as the Galapagos brings magic to our souls and mind. We have traveled all the way from Fernandina to San Cristobal islands, the youngest and one of the oldest in the archipelago, on an expedition a journey of discovery through time.

San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest in the Galapagos. Today we landed on a green olivine beach. The volcanic scenery that we observed during our intense hike as spectacular; the peaks of tuff high in the sky make this site very different from what we have already observed.

Punta Pitt also has impressive scenery from up above – here we can see the clear sunny sky and occasionally the inversion layer, which kept us cool and pleasantly comfortable for this walk. All of our senses become aware as we listen to our surroundings, as we searched for red-footed boobies. Today we were lucky to see them very close.

Soon after, we enjoyed some beach time, playing with fun sea lions and observing them playing at the beach

Later we repositioned to Cerro Brujo for our last walk over a white sandy beach and turquoise ocean together with sea lions. What a wonderful way to say goodbye to the Galapagos. Then we boarded our Zodiacs and passed by Kicker Rock, an impressive tuff formation standing massively out of the shoreline, as the sun was setting far on the horizon. We are now together at the bow, celebrating life as a frigate bird was flying very near us like saying goodbye. Today is our last full day in the islands.

We made it to the Galapagos and it was not easy. There is a deep appreciation to the visitors, especially the children, who actually make it to the islands. Statistics say that out the seven billion humans in this world, only a few make it to the Galapagos—in contrast, Hawaii receives twelve million visitors per year, Yellowstone Park three million, Machu Picchu one million visitors and finally, Galapagos islands have 204,000 guests per year, a fraction comparing to other places. That is why I say, today we were honored to be part of their unforgettable experience, and we hope one day they would have the will and power to make a positive change in this wonderful world of ours.

Our expedition is now over; life goes on, but we are now sure this place has changed many lives; a place which can never be fully described. We all came with different backgrounds, sharing the magic that can only exist in our minds forever.

Farewell amigos.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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