Fernandina and Isabela Islands

May 27, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Guests onboard National Geographic Endeavour II spent the day exploring Fernandina and Isabela Islands. Photography enthusiasts left early for a hike at Punta Espinoza to catch the morning light. Photo instructors came along for the hike to give pointers to guests on how to get the perfect shot of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos hawks, and even racer snakes. We discussed the evolutionary history and behavioral ecology of these remarkable creatures, unique to the Galapagos archipelago. There were many young marine iguanas throughout the site, some of which fell prey to racer snakes and Sally Lightfoot crabs right before our eyes.

After exploring the terrestrial side of Fernandina, we changed into our snorkel gear and submerged ourselves into the marine realm of this exceptional visitors’ site. Guests observed many green sea turtles, tropical fishes, and marine iguanas grazing upon green algae. Some lucky snorkelers even swam with Galapagos penguins and some playful sea lions. After lunch, a lecture on Charles Darwin was held in the lounge, along with kids’ educational activities and a photography workshop.

In the afternoon, we set out on the Zodiacs for a sunset cruise around Punta Vicente Roca. This area of Isabela is home to large numbers of resting green sea turtles. Guests also observed blue footed boobies, and Galapagos fur seals, brown noddies, swallow-tailed gulls, and Nazca boobies. We discussed some of the spectacular geological formations of this site, including volcanic ash and dykes. Photo instructors accompanied us on the cruise, offering pointers on how to capture great shots on a moving vessel. We ended the day with a wine tasting celebration on the observation deck as we crossed the equator.

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About the Author

Alexandra Widman


Alexandra grew up on the southeast coast of the United States. She has a deep love for the ocean that stems from her childhood spent surfing, kayaking, diving and fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway. Alexandra has lived on San Cristóbal Island for the past 6 years, having fallen in love with Galápagos the moment she arrived as a fledgling marine ecologist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and a master’s in environmental science and management from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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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