Espumilla Beach and Buccaneer’s Cove

Aug 08, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


At around 6:30 a.m. we went to Espumilla beach for a pre-breakfast sighting of shore birds and other interesting creatures. It was wonderful to be there that early, either walking along the shore or kayaking. An hour and a half later we had breakfast in the dining room surrounded by a fantastic landscape of black lava and turquoise water. Shortly after, when were almost about to set the anchor, our crew spotted a couple of whales and we quickly jumped into our Zodiacs and followed them for some 15 minutes, spotting a couple of humpbacks including a mother and her calf. Once we returned from this adventure, many guest went snorkeling and immersed themselves in the underwater world. Others chose to extend their Zodiac ride and explore the island’s landscape.

After a delicious lunch, we traversed the coastal line of Santiago and saw many marine iguanas, a few sea lions nursing their babies, pelicans, herons, and even an octopus. We arrived at an area with larger grottos, and striking “pothole” lava rock formations, some of them 30 feet deep. What a fun surprise it was to see a sea turtle swimming peacefully in one of these natural deep ponds.

To finish a fantastic day, we had a terrific sunset followed by a BBQ dinner on the outer deck.

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About the Author

Lenin Villacis

Naturalist

Lenin was born in the capital city of Quito, where he grew up surrounded by the mountains and volcanoes of the Andean region of Ecuador. At age 17, he received a scholarship to study in Mexico, and a few years later traveled to the U.S. and finished college with a degree in Earth sciences. In 1994 he returned to Ecuador to undergo a training course to become a naturalist guide for his incredibly rich and biodiverse home country, and started working in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador. 

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