Santiago Island

Dec 13, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


Santiago Island is very special to Lindblad Expeditions. In the past, it was overrun by many invasive species such as goats, pigs, donkeys, and many others. We are proud to have contributed to the conservation and restoration of the island’s ecosystem, and today’s results are amazing! None of these invasive species are found, and the island is once again a paradise for giant tortoises.

In the late morning after breakfast, we explored Buccaneer’s Cove. Here, we went kayaking and deep water snorkeling. This was an opportunity to get to know more about the human aspect and history of the Galapagos. This place was frequented by pirates, whale hunters, seal hunters and Charles Darwin on board the HMS. Beagle in 1835!

In the afternoon, we landed at Puerto Egas and had a couple of exploration options. Option 1 was a hike along the shore of Santiago Island which is amazing due to the presence of animals like sea lions, crabs, iguanas and seabirds. Option 2 was spending the afternoon relaxing and snorkeling in the shallow reefs. One can find the ruins of a human settlement left by salt miners that inhabited this bay back in the 1950s. Today, Santiago is entirely protected and managed by the Galapagos National Park Service.  

As we walked, we enjoyed all the amazing landscape and unique sightings that were once observed by the most famous of all naturalists, Charles Darwin during his 1835 visit aboard the HMS Beagle.

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About the Author

Juan Carlos Avila

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Juan Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador. He spent part of his elementary schooling in the province of Cotopaxi, a beautiful area in the Ecuadorian Andes ringed by volcanoes. In 1989 his family moved to the Galápagos and settled in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in this archipelago. It was here that Juan Carlos finished high school and gained his deep love for nature.

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