Santiago Island

Oct 30, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today we came back to the center of this enchanted archipelago. The sun rose at six o’clock and warms the bay of Espumilla, the tide is low and the beach looks big. This morning we had a pre-breakfast morning activity, to explore one of the largest nesting grounds of the Pacific green sea turtles in Galapagos. For this activity, we offered one photography hike and a few groups of natural history interpretation.

Photographers stayed along the beach to take pictures of ghost crabs, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, finches, yellow warblers and interesting landscape formations. On the other hand, our hikers had a chance to explore a very typical dry vegetation zone cover with endemic and native plants. One of the main attractions was to observe the tallest incense trees in Galapagos, along with giant prickly pear cactus and singing land birds everywhere.

After our early exploration we came back to have a nutritious breakfast, and then to continue our journey of exploration on Santiago Island. We motored for about 20 minutes onboard National Geographic Endeavour II, and once we dropped anchor in Buccaneer’s Cove, we were ready to disembark, this time with glass-bottom boaters, kayakers, and paddle-boarders. Some other guests preferred to explore the place, getting wet in the turquoise bay and snorkeling in the deep waters. All our guests were astonished by the many different experiences with the magnificent wildlife, both on land and in the ocean. It was an exceptional morning!

For the afternoon, we offered two options in a different location known as Puerto Egas.

The water visibility at this location was perfect and that is the reason we offer a snorkeling activity off the beach. This is one of the few spots where you can sea turtles, sharks, rays, Galapagos sea lions and many species of fish in the same area.

For those not interested in water activities, we went for a hike along the coastal area in the same area. This hike to the tidal pools allowed our guests the unique opportunity to observe both species of endemic sea lions in Galapagos, lots of migratory shore birds, big piles of marine iguanas and lots of newborn Galapagos sea lions, along with a beautiful sunset.

Both groups were mesmerized, they just could not believe how amazing and different each visitor site was.

At the end of the day, we had a barbecue dinner on the sun deck under a sky full of stars. Later on, we sang and danced to celebrate our amazing journey in these Enchanted Islands.

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About the Author

Walter Perez

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Walter was born in a very small town on the mainland of Ecuador. His first trip to the Galápagos was when he was 12 years old, visiting friends and aunt, who had moved to the islands. From the first moment he saw the Islands, he fell in love with them and knew then where his future home would be.

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