Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Floreana Island

    Baptized in honor of the first Ecuadorian President General Juan Jose Flores, Floreana is by far the island with the richest human history in the Galapagos. It was in 1832 when President Flores decided to annex the archipelago to Ecuador, with Floreana being its first political capital. Afterward in 1835, Charles Darwin visited the island on board HMS Beagle, observing the endemic tortoises and mockingbirds, nowadays extinct to the island. Finally, in the early 1900s, Floreana became the most mysterious island in Galapagos, because of several strange disappearances that occurred there, especially the famous Baroness and Phillipson, whose bodies never were found.

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  • Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez

    Española Island is the oldest of the Galapagos Islands, as it sits on the southeastern end of the archipelago. The islands are of volcanic origin and are formed because of the activity of what geologists call a hot spot. As the Nazca Plate slides to the southeast over the volcano-producing area, new islands develop. This means that the islands towards the northwest are the youngest, and the ones on the opposite end are the oldest.

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  • Punta Pitt

    This is our last day in the Galapagos after a fantastic week in the Enchanted Islands! We started the morning with a very scenic walk in Punta Pitt, on San Cristobal Island. After some hiking we arrived at booby territory and were all very excited to see the birds and dramatic landscape. Our final snorkeling session was a great, with many bright Sally Lightfoot crabs and playful sea lions. And as a farewell, we had a stroll along the white sands of Cerro Brujo and enjoyed our last sunset in the islands at Kicker Rock.

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  • Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station

    This morning we headed ashore to Santa Cruz island to visit the town of Puerto Ayora. This bustling metropolis of almost 20,000 people is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, which we headed straight to after breakfast. Our naturalists guided us around the facility to see various aspects of the research being done here – everything from controlling invasive species to breeding endangered species of tortoise. We got to meet Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his species (though a couple of half-breed females of his species have recently been discovered!) and watch baby tortoises being fed. We also heard about Super Diego, a tortoise which was brought back to the Galapagos from the San Diego Zoo for breeding purposes. Today he has over 1,000 offspring and will soon be returned to the wild as the conclusion of his successful breeding program.

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  • Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer’s Cove & Puerto Egas

    At first light we landed on Espumilla Beach and were treated to close encounters with a Galapagos hawk and a few brown pelicans feeding in the surf. We divided our group into two explorations – the long walkers that journeyed inland through the ancient mangrove forest, and the photography group that strolled along the soft red sandy beach. Later, we departed on Zodiacs along the steep cliffs of Buccaneer’s Cove followed by a few intrepid soles that went deep water snorkeling.

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  • Espumilla Beach, Buccaneers Cove & Puerto Egas

    Today our guests experienced Santiago Island. This is the island that Darwin explored the most when he visited the Galapagos back in 1835. Darwin, together with some crew of the Beagle, camped on the island of Santiago for a week. During this time, Darwin studied Galapagos marine and land iguanas, collected finches, mockingbirds, insects and plants. Most of the species that Darwin collected were unique to the islands. His time on Santiago Island also made Darwin notice that the Galapagos wildlife was strangely unafraid of humans.

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  • Isabela Island

    The day started with early whale watching while navigating across the channel between Isabela and Fernandina islands. Soon, a small group of dolphins were spotted, and we had the chance to see their graceful jumps as they swam around us. After breakfast our first group departed to the island with the aim of walking over two miles on the uplifted shore at Urbina Bay. The trail at this site is covered with signs of marine life that once lived on these grounds. During the hike we found many Galapagos giant tortoises in the middle of the trail, sunning and posing in front of our cameras. Bright yellow land iguanas were also active this morning and displayed territorial behavior as they crossed from one side of trail to the other.

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  • Isabela and Fernandina Island

    After navigating through the night, we arrived at the western waters of the Galapagos archipelago. This is an area known for its biological richness, particularly its marine life. we woke up early in the morning to enjoy a fantastic sunrise, and we were lucky to find a pod of hundreds of common dolphins. With all that joy, we headed to breakfast and then celebrated crossing the equatorial line.

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  • Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

    Today aboard National Geographic Endeavor II we had the opportunity to start the day with a scenic morning walk at Urbina Bay, a black sandy beach located on the rim of Alcedo volcano on Isabela Island. As we walked along the trail, we had close encounters with yellow land iguanas and giant Alcedo tortoises! After the hike, some guests returned to the ship by Zodiac, while others had a refreshing swim from the beach, sharing the space with pelicans that were feeding at the coast. Afterwards, we had a delicious and traditional Ecuadorian buffet lunch, where we learned the proper way to eat ceviche.

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  • Bartolomé & Rábida

    Today we explored two small islands of the Galapagos with unbelievably beautiful landscapes and wildlife. We began in the early morning on the young island of Bartolomé. It’s filled with cinder cones that give it a beautiful lunar look. After exploring the area, we walked 380 steps to the top for a spectacular view of the famous pinnacle rock.

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