Española

Apr 07, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Sunday, our official first day of expedition! What a great way to start this wonderful journey with the island of Española. The Galapagos Islands are all volcanic, as they come from a hotspot located on the western part of the archipelago. These Islands are on top of the Nazca plate which moves every year between two and three inches to the east. As this plate moves, so too do the islands stationed above; that is why the oldest of them (Española) is found the furthest east.

We began our morning with a great breakfast while anchored in Garner Bay. All the activities in the morning included time in and around the warm Galapagos waters. Some went deep-water snorkeling and had the chance to see a variety of fish distinct in both shape and color. There were marine iguanas feeding in the water, sea turtles, and a bunch of sea lions following and playing with us! Other guests went to the beach to get some snorkeling lessons provided by our expert naturalist, where they also had the chance to enjoy additional time with the sea lions. After, we all gather to conclude our adventures at the beautiful coral beach. We were surprised by the wonderful hotel staff over an amazing Andean lunch. Afterward, we sat in on a series of photography lessons from naturalist Walter Perez.

We navigate to our next destination at Punta Suárez, still in the island of Española. While out on an afternoon hike, we saw the colorful marine iguanas, lava lizards, finches, snakes, a Galapagos hawk, frigate birds, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, and the first waved albatrosses of the season! Endemic to Ecuador, they are the only albatross species of the tropics. What a full and fortunate day we had out here, and the wildlife was just spectacular!

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About the Author

Roberta Schiess

Naturalist

Born and raised in the Galápagos, Roberta Schiess Bahamonde’s grandparents were among the first permanent inhabitants of Santa Cruz Island, arriving from Switzerland in the 1940s. Her mother is also a naturalist guide in the Galápagos, so this is a profession she has been exposed to her whole life, and she often accompanied her mom as she guided visitors. 

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