San Cristobal Island

Nov 29, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today is our last day in paradise, on this adventure which seems unreal. We all bonded as one, even though we come from different places, as the Galapagos brings magic to our souls and minds. We have traveled from Fernandina to San Cristobal, from the youngest islands to one of the oldest in the archipelago, on a journey of discovery through time.

San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos. Today we opted for a fun Zodiac ride, searching for red-footed boobies, and soon after landed on a green olivine beach for a 1.5-mile walk. The volcanic scenery that we observed during our intense hike was spectacular; the peaks of tuff high in the sky make this site very different from what we have already seen on this expedition. When we returned to the beach, we had fun swimming and playing with a small colony of sea lions, our ever-present friends. Today some of us took pictures of two big male sea lions as a farewell to this wonderful week. Later we repositioned our ship to our last destination, Cerro Brujo, for a walk along a white sandy beach.

We made it to the Galapagos, and it was not easy. There is a deep appreciation for those who make it to the islands; out of some 7 billion humans in this world, only a small fraction ever make it to the Galapagos. In contrast, Hawaii receives 12 million visitors each year, Yellowstone Park 3 million, Machu Picchu 1 million, and finally, Galapagos Islands, with only 204,000 visitors per year. This is why we were so honored to be part of their unforgettable experience, and we hope one day they would have the will and power to make a positive change in this wonderful world of ours.

Our expedition is now over; life goes on, but we are now sure this place has changed many lives, a place which can never be fully described. We all came with different backgrounds, sharing this magic which will exist in our hearts and minds forever.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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