Floreana Island and Champion Islet

Jan 14, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Guests spent the day exploring Floreana Island and its satellite companion, Champion Islet. We began the day with a pre-breakfast walk at Punta Cormorant. This site has a lot to offer and we were lucky enough to see it all: vegetation endemic to Floreana, olivine beaches, greater flamingos, and green sea turtle nesting. We saw many divots in the sand where sea turtles had recently laid their eggs; we concluded that they were fresh nests for two reasons: 1) the tracks leaving the nests were fresh and 2) when we turned to look toward the sea, we spotted a dozen female green sea turtles heading out to sea. It was a very special moment for everyone, including myself, because it’s not every day that we have the opportunity to see these majestic creatures in action during the nesting process. 

After breakfast, guests visited Champion Islet. During their Zodiac cruise around this islet, guests viewed the incredibly rare Floreana mockingbird and learned about the interesting conservation work that’s being done to bring back populations to Floreana island. We then explored the marine environment of Champion Islet where we observed some playful and curious juvenile Galapagos sea lions. The juveniles of this species tend to blow bubbles at guests and even snag the tips of our flippers! 

After lunch, guests had the opportunity to go kayaking in a beautiful and serene bay area. We found sea turtles, sea lions, and some beautiful mangrove trees. These areas are important for juvenile species such as reef sharks. 

We ended the day at Post Office Bay. Guests learned about some of the human history of Galapagos and mailed their post cards through the oldest mailing system in the Americas: the Floreana Post Office Barrel. Several guests retrieved post cards that were mailed by previous visitors to the barrel in order to continue the tradition of hand delivering them back in their home towns. After mailing their post cards, guests swam and snorkeled in the bay with some of largest green sea turtles in Galapagos.

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About the Author

Alexandra Widman


Alexandra grew up on the southeast coast of the United States. She has a deep love for the ocean that stems from her childhood spent surfing, kayaking, diving and fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway. Alexandra has lived on San Cristóbal Island for the past 6 years, having fallen in love with Galápagos the moment she arrived as a fledgling marine ecologist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and a master’s in environmental science and management from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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