Santiago Island

May 15, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

This morning we woke up anchored in Espumilla Beach, where we started our activities very early with a pre-breakfast beach walk. We enjoyed amazing colors and subjects for photography, including ghost crabs, baby sea turtles, sharks, sea lions and dolphins.

During a delicious breakfast, we navigate a little to Tagus Cove, where we offered a variety of water activities, including kayaking, paddle-boarding, snorkeling and outings in the very popular glass-bottom boat. This site is known for its beautiful geological formations and amazing wildlife, both in and out of the water.

Back onboard, we had our Mexican lunch and a very interesting talk about the human history of the islands by one of our naturalists before we headed out to our next destination in Puerto Egas. Some of our guests had the chance to go ashore right after lunch, to enjoy the beach and have a splash! Soon after, our group of hikers left the ship to explore this wonderful place, hoping to spot the land iguanas that were recently re-introduced to Santiago. Before this iguana breeding program was introduced, the last person that reported land iguanas in this island was Charles Darwin, more than 180 years ago! More than 1,400 land iguanas from the island of North Seymour were bring here, and today our guests witnessed science with their own eyes, we were able to spot more than five land iguanas on the site.

We finished our day with a beautiful sunset and wonderful colors along the shore with the fur seals and an incredible amount of shore birds.

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About the Author

Roberta Schiess


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. 

About the Photographer

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.

About the Videographer

Dexter Sear

Video Chronicler

Dexter grew up in England where a love for exploring the countryside ignited a lifelong passion for discovering natural history and embarking on adventure. As a teenager, two trips to India sparked a fascination with insects and a desire to share a “hidden” macro world was born. He produced a popular insect website and authored a reader digest about cultural entomology.

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