South Plaza & Santa Fe Island

May 23, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


Today we visited two very different small islands in the center of the archipelago. We disembarked after breakfast at South Plaza and followed a rocky looping trail around the perimeter of the island. From the cliffs we enjoyed watching frigates, gulls, boobies and shearwaters soaring. Inland we observed and photographed many colorful land iguanas, and, along the shore, there was a large population of boisterous sea lions. We swam from the ship and cooled off after the beautiful walk!

In the first part of the afternoon, guests had a choice of taking a long hike, kayaking, or paddle-boarding. Two groups climbed the rocky cliff trail and enjoyed both the view and the sighting of several of the island-endemic land iguanas. By happenstance, naturalist Jose came upon a short-eared owl perched on the rocks! Meanwhile, the kayakers and paddle-boarders spotted sea turtles, sea lions and rays in the clear water of the turquoise bay.

Those on the short-trail option disembarked on the small beach with a hundred sea lions that were fighting and resting, nursing and playing. We found several Santa Fe land iguanas on the short trail, too! We have had a marvelous day in Las Islas Encantadas!

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About the Author

Lynn Fowler

Expedition Leader

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of seven children, Lynn grew up in various university towns where her father was a professor of physics. Lynn obtained her B.A. in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, followed by a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida, which encompassed a study of marine turtles in Costa Rica. She arrived in Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for the Galápagos National Park.

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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