North Semour, Bartolome and Rabida Islands

Nov 25, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


We flew 600 nautical miles over the Pacific Ocean, from the mainland of Ecuador, to reach the remote oceanic islands named “Galapagos”, after their most famous denizens, the giant tortoises.

After landing on the tiny island of Baltra, loaned by the Ecuadorian government to the US as an airbase during WWII, we boarded the Islander for lunch and briefings before taking a late afternoon walk on one of the most beautiful islets of the Galapagos, North Seymour.

Overnight, we travelled towards the tiny island of Bartolome, nicknamed the “textbook of geology” where we took a pre-breakfast hike to the top of a volcanic cone to spectacular scenery, followed by snorkel lessons off a lovely golden-sand beach, deep-water snorkeling off the coast among tropical fish and small sharks, and Zodiac cruises to look for birdlife.

Over lunch we travelled again, this time towards the island of Rábida, to kayak, paddleboard, snorkel and hike. The colorful red beach was teeming with schools of fish that created a feeding frenzy, just off the coast, of boobies, terns, pelicans, gulls and sea lions.

A day to remember forever!

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About the Author

Emma Ridley

Expedition Leader

Born of a Scottish father and English mother, Emma enjoyed an international upbringing because of her father’s job as a foreign correspondent.  Although her family eventually settled in Rome, Emma's schooling was conducted in French, having started her studies in Brussels, Belgium and finishing at the Lycée Français de Rome in 1988.

About the Photographer

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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