South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands

May 09, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


Located east from Santa Cruz Island, South Plaza Island offers an incredible landscape and plenty of wildlife. During our morning walk, we observed Galapagos land iguanas all along the trail, several of which were feeding on yellow flowers. Along the cliffs, there were swallow-tailed gulls. Blue-footed and Nazca boobies were in flight and showing their feet to those of us admiring from below. Magnificent frigatebirds were gliding and several pelicans and red-billed tropic birds made their appearance! The afternoon was spent at Santa Fe Island, where inside the calm bay our guests got out on kayaks and paddleboards for a water-level vantage of the area. A long and a short walk commenced after, affording our guests intimate closeups of the unique Santa Fe land iguanas! What a gorgeous day in paradise!

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About the Author

Vanessa Gallo

Naturalist

Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries.

About the Photographer

Walter Perez

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Walter was born in a very small town on the mainland of Ecuador. His first trip to the Galápagos was when he was 12 years old, visiting friends and aunt, who had moved to the islands. From the first moment he saw the Islands, he fell in love with them and knew then where his future home would be.

About the Videographer

Mark Coger

Video Chronicler

Growing up in a military family, Mark Coger has been traveling most of his life.  While living in Japan, he developed his passion for videography.  He began his venture in the field of video production by filming numerous events for a local high school and the military community before moving to Southern California, where he obtained his degree in filmmaking at California State University Northridge.  From there, he went on to produce and direct his first major short film, An American Journalist which was screened at the Method Film Festival.

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