Isabela Island

Dec 24, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today we disembark on Isabela island. Early in the morning we had vivid sunshine and calm seas as we approached Urbina bay for a wet landing. This impressive site was underwater as late as 1954 when magmatic pressure uplifted this site approximately 12 feet and is now a welcoming home to land iguanas and giant tortoises.

Disembarking from the island’s black sandy beach, we realize this space acts also as a nesting site for green pacific turtles. Walking around this morning allowed numerous land iguana sighting: individuals were very active, for this is the beginning of breeding season. Males and females were together exposing their bright colors. Today we also were rewarded by the ever-impressive Galapagos giant tortoise. All our guests were mesmerized upon this sighting.

Soon after our walk, we enjoyed a refreshing swimming at the beach. Then, back onboard and repositioning, naturalist Christina Ahassi led presentation on human history of the Galapagos island. Following, our kitchen department presented their pride and joy: the Ecuadorian lunch bursting with spices, colors and tastes savored by all.

We later arrived at Tagus Cove for snorkeling, kayaking, and Zodiac rides. It was also the last call for our two flightless birds, Galapagos penguin and flightless cormorant. Fish and turtles of all strip surrounded us, and as the sun set behind Fernandina we came back onboard for our evening recap.

Today we learned about how important numbers are for science, how to use our tools of exploration and Galapagos field guides, photography tips, about plankton, and briefing over tomorrow’s activities. Dinner was served while we said goodbye to the western part of the archipelago while National Geographic Endeavour II travels to Santiago Island.

Our guests have bonded for this place brings all the magic on us, a place where coexistence and respect for one another is within our hearts and everywhere we see – and tonight is Christmas Eve! I wish you were here with us, dear reader. No matter what you read or see, nothing will prepare you for this wonderful place call the Enchanted Islands.

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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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