North Seymour and Rabida Island

Oct 27, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


This is our first full day expeditions around the Galapagos Islands. Yesterday was a great beginning, but today was spectacular. Early in the morning we went to visit a very small island which is an uplifted site, flat in geology but abundance in wildlife. It is in the center of Galapagos, known as North Seymour, the only island where the frigatebirds reproduce all year around.

Many species of sea birds nest here, including the two species of frigates and one species of boobies. Magnificent and great frigates have both chosen the island to live and nest, for finding fish in the surrounding waters is relatively easy and there is plenty for both groups. There are many males at this time of year with their red pouches fully up to attract the females, although others are already engaged in incubation or taking care of the young as well as feeding them.

In the same area nest the blue-footed boobies. They are not as plentiful because this is the end of the current nesting season. However, a few young are still here waiting for their parents to return with food. Another attraction is the land iguana, a prehistoric-looking reptile which has lived on the island since the 1930s, when rescued from almost extinction due to predation and human activities on the neighboring island of Baltra. There were plenty of them showing a vast natural recovery.

One of the best attractions of the Galapagos is without a doubt the sea lion, an enigmatic creature well known for having such a charm that people always end up taking one more picture, no matter how many have already been taken. Some groups witnessed a recent delivery; such an incredible experience. This and more makes this island one of the best sites for wildlife.

After some navigation, we arrived to the island of Rabida, which stands out from the others for having a red coloration due to the large amount of iron in the rock. Therefore, the beach is made up of a striking red sand. Sea lions come to this beach to rest, and at this time of the year, to mate and give birth. These are one of the best attractions of the place because they are very playful and like to interact with humans in the water. Snorkelers enjoy this place so much for many are the attractions here, including turtles, colorful fish, rays and even sharks sometimes—the friendly ones!

The guests that didn’t go into the water could enjoy the area along the beach, where we observed several sea birds catching fish, including as pelicans, boobies, herons and sea lions, all of which made this visit a quite amazing experience.

We ended the day with a magical sunset, the icing on the cake of such as incredible day.

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About the Author

Christian Saa

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

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