Floreana Island

Jan 29, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

For this morning’s pre-breakfast outing, we ventured out to an incredible visitor site known as Cormorant Point. After a wet landing, we encountered a coastal lagoon with approximately 20 flamingos feeding on the algae and brine shrimp brought on by this year’s rainy season.

We then walked along the green olivine beach, one of the only few found Earth! Blue-footed boobies were spotted nesting along the grabble dunes of the beach. Juvenile chicks were found along the beach and the adults out on the water, flaring their blue feet as they landed from a fishing expedition.

Another incredible display of mating Pacific sea turtles was captured on camera just off the Floreana shore. We are here at peak mating season, so it is not atypical that we should cross several other pairs in this area.

After breakfast, we went by Zodiac along the coast of Champion Islet. Our group was in the search of the very rare Floreana mockingbird, and some were lucky enough to spot several of these uncommon island dwellers perched atop the endemic prickly pear cacti. After birdwatching, we went deepwater snorkeling, leading us to encounter a few playful Galapagos sea lions and a lush display of various tropical fish.

After lunch, some went kayaking along the shore while others went snorkeling with green Pacific sea turtles. On shore, we visited Post Office Bay, where homesick whalers of the 18th century once stopped to deliver letters to family members. This “passive post office” remains active to this day, and we deposited some of our own postcards into an old post office barrel. Being a passive system, delivery is far from immediate, but how pleasantly surprising our letters will be for our friends and loved ones when they do arrive!

A small group opted afterward to visit a lava tube behind the postal site, following a trail surrounded by incense trees and native vegetation. We entered the lava tube, descending a few meters underground to meet land that met the ocean at the end of the tube.

Today was incredible—full of geology, wildlife, and the rich history behind this island!

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About the Author

Jonathan Aguas

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jonathan was born into one of only a handful of families that reaches back five generations in Galápagos, in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. He first left the islands when he won a highly-coveted scholarship to finish his studies in the U.S.  This was the start of his life-long passion for science and languages. He earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of Florida and later spent time in Europe, where he learned French. He is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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