Mar 12, 2019 - National Geographic Islander
This morning National Geographic Islander brought us to Floreana, in the south-center of the Galapagos Islands.
During our pre-breakfast hike we explored Punta Cormorant National Park. After a wet landing at Floreana’s green-tinged sand beach, it didn’t take more than a few minutes hiking inland to spot pink flamingoes occupying a brackish water pond as well as Galapagos flycatchers, endemic carpenter bees feeding on passion fruit, and Darwin finches flying between incense trees. After visiting the lava fields, we came to another beach, this one set in white sand, where eagle rays and sea turtles were swimming just off the shore.
After breakfast, we boarded the Zodiacs to explore the shores of Champion Islet in hopes of spotting Floreana’s mockingbirds and swallow-tailed gulls. (And we did!)
It was time for snorkeling by this point. We saw plenty of colorful fish, white-tip reef sharks, sea stars, sea urchins, and playful sea lions. After that, Post Office Bay—the first functioning post system that was operating in the Galapagos even before Ecuador became an independent republic. The station operates passively, on the goodwill of fellow travelers to deliver the letters guests will leave.
We finished our day with a wonderful panga ride in temperate protected waters, where we saw our first penguin in Galapagos. There it was, sitting on the lava rocks next to marine iguanas and sea lions; our guests couldn’t get over it!
It was just before sunset that we headed back to National Geographic Islander to enjoy some refreshing cocktails off the sky deck. We had a truly fantastic day! Thank you, Galapagos!
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