Santiago Island

Jan 08, 2020 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today was very busy, as we have moved to three different locations throughout the day to complete our outings around Santiago Island.

Everything started with an early morning call to visit Espumilla Beach, where our guests enjoyed a photography session with our naturalist/photo instructor Jonathan Aguas, followed by a walk on the beautiful beach were we saw curious Galapagos flightcatchers, and the biggest predator of the archipelago, the Galapagos hawk.

Afterward we had a delicious breakfast followed by different morning activities around Buccaneer’s Cove: two rounds of kayaks, five rounds of glass-bottom boat outings and the deep-water snorkeling of the day. Everyone enjoyed the different schools of fish, including creolefish, king angelfish, blue chin parrotfish, and endemic chitons. Afterward everyone returned to the ship for lunch.

In the afternoon, we moved to Puerto Egas just as it started to rain. Meanwhile we had a very interesting presentation about Darwinism given by Princeton professor Graham Burnett. Global Explorers participated in the Fashion the Fish initiative, where they sculpted fish of their own using recycled materials. After this, the afternoon outing started with a rainy walk around the arid zone and intertidal zone of this beautiful island, where we spotted Galapagos fur seals, yellow warblers, Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin finches, yellow-crowned night herons, lava herons, marine iguanas, oyster catchers, sea lions, frigatebirds, etc. The walk along the shore of Santiago Island was amazing, the landscape of the compacted ash grottos was fascinating. It looked very different from any other placed we have visited along the week.

After this intensive day, the crew offered us a fantastic barbecue dinner full of different meats, salads and incredible desserts that were perfect to end this long and gorgeous day.

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About the Author

Paola Luque

Naturalist

Paola was born in the major Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil, raised near the ocean and rivers. Since childhood she felt a deep connection with nature, which led her to settle in the Galapagos Archipelago in 1998, on the central island of Santa Cruz. Here she got involved in the tourism industry, with a particular interest in food and cooking.Her passion for the sea and traveling then led her to sail the world's oceans to remote destinations, working as crewmember and chef on private yachts for 5 years.

About the Photographer

Alexandra Widman

Naturalist

Alexandra grew up on the southeast coast of the United States. She has a deep love for the ocean that stems from her childhood spent surfing, kayaking, diving and fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway. Alexandra has lived on San Cristóbal Island for the past 6 years, having fallen in love with Galápagos the moment she arrived as a fledgling marine ecologist. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and a master’s in environmental science and management from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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