Santa Cruz

May 08, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

To the northwest of Santa Cruz, opposite to the inhabited area of the island, is Cerro Dragon, with remarkable variety of flora and fauna. After a wet landing on rocky terrain, we came across a white sandy beach surrounded by black basaltic rock, and all of this combined with the greens and reds of the plants give the place an outstanding mosaic of color. This area is inhabited by many animals including sea birds, marine iguanas, lava lizards, shore birds and a variety of fish in tide pools. A red trail, due to presence of iron on the rocks, took us through a palo santo forest. Finally we reached Dragon Hill, where land iguanas can be seen at any time of the year. Large iguanas, mostly yellow in color, are the highlight of the excursion.

After returning to National Geographic Endeavour II, we got ready for the next adventure, this time along the walls of a small island called Guy Fawkes for snorkeling. Many different types of fish, sharks and sometimes rays and turtles can be seen here.

In the afternoon, we move to a different island called Eden to explore the coastline with our Zodiacs, kayaks and paddleboards. To conclude this lovely day, we navigated around the island of Daphne Major, where scientists have found the perfect scenario for the studies of finches over the past few decades. As the sun sets behind the island, we see another fantastic day come to an end.

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About the Author

Patricio Maldonado

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Patricio, better known as Pato amongst his friends, was born in the Galápagos Island. His family moved to the islands from the mainland and settled on the island of Santa Cruz over thirty-five years ago. Pato had an enchanted childhood in the islands, where his keen interest in the wildlife of the Galápagos was born initially through catching lizards and observing how they lost their tails. His experiences in the islands have led him to teach visitors about the need to protect this rare and unique environment.

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