Espumilla Beach and Buccaneer’s Cove

Jan 09, 2020 - National Geographic Islander


On our first day of rain of the rainy season, we began with a prebreakfast hike to explore the pristine Espumilla Beach on Santiago Island. Santiago, known also as James Island, is filled with interesting creatures. We found many on our search – ghost crabs, mating sea turtles, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, mockingbirds and a female sea turtle resting by the shoreline after laying eggs at the beach.

After a great meal, we had different activities at Buccaneer’s Cove. Many had an amazing snorkeling session and encountered manta rays. Others went for a Zodiac ride to spot more wildlife such as blue-footed boobies, pelicans, night seagulls among other species, plus the area’s great landscape. There were several rock formations, one about 45 feet high, and is said to be in the shape of a praying monk, and another formation appearing to have the form of an elephant entering a river.

In the afternoon, we visited the amazing coastline of Puerto Egas, where we saw Galapagos marine iguanas, sea lions and fur seals coexisting in the same are. While swimming inside the “grottos,” we were lucky to get some amazing close-ups of them. 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

Naturalist

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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