Sombrero Chino & James Island

Dec 20, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today we visited Sombrero Chino in the morning and Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island) in the afternoon. Early in the morning we went to the sundeck to start with some body stretching guided by our wellness specialist Juliana, it was wonderful to do it facing the ocean.

At 7:30 a.m., we had breakfast and we were able to see from the windows of the dining room black lava and turquoise water. After breakfast, we went on a Zodiac ride in search search of the Galapagos penguin and other creatures, plus the amazing landscape the island and nature offer to us. While some guests were off in Zodiacs, one group was kayaking and paddleboarding around this beautiful volcanic locale. Later we all went snorkeling in the amazing crystalline waters off Sombrero Chino.

Back onboard for lunch as we navigate to our next destination. Our Expedition leader Lynn Fowler had an inspiring presentation covering her experiences at Alcedo Volcano. Soon after the talk, we disembarked for a walk on the moon-like landscape of Santiago’s last eruption volcanic field.

In the afternoon, we explored the amazing coastline of Santiago and Bartolome by Zodiac. Here we encounter Galapagos penguins and we were lucky to get some amazing close ups of them perched atop the rocks just for us. After the Zodiac ride, we landed on Sullivan bay, which is a recent lava flow, and we walked for a couple of hours looking at the different lava formations which are incredible features of this huge desert of lava. To finish a fantastic day, we had a terrific sunset, followed by a barbecue dinner on the outer deck.

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About the Author

Lenin Villacis


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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