Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field


  • Isabela Island

    Named after Queen Isabel, this island is the largest in the Galapagos Archipelago. It is made up of volcanos, which are still very active, erupting as recently as last year. Urbina Bay is our landing site, with a black sand beach where turtles annually lay their eggs. The area is vast and heavily vegetated due to its rich volcanic soil, producing many sources of food, safety, and nesting sites for birds. It also creates areas of shade and nesting sites for reptiles like giant tortoises and land iguanas. During our outing, we saw a variety of land birds, as well as a several tortoises and land iguanas.

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  • Punta Vicente Roca and Punta Espinoza

    Today we visited the western region of the Galapagos, where amazing wildlife encounters awaited. Sailing through the night, we arrived at the western coast of Isabela Island. Near Volcan Ecuador we spotted a massive pod of common dolphins. These beautiful marine mammals gave us quite a show! After breakfast, we navigated the waters of Punta Vicente Roca, exploring the amazing volcanic cliffs, and where we found Galapagos fur seals, penguins, flightless cormorants, Nazca and blue-footed boobies.

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  • Bartholomew and Rabida Islands

    We split our first full day in Galapagos between two islands. Bartholomew Island, with the iconic Pinnacle Rock and stark arid terrain in contrast with the rich Pacific seascape. Then Rabida in the afternoon, with its stark red sand and imposing cliffscape, rocked paths, sea lions, and an array of underwater marvels.

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  • Fernandina & Isabela

    Today we sailed to the western part of the archipelago, Fernandina and Isabela. The newest Islands are strongly influenced by the Cromwell Undercurrent, which brings cold, nutrient-rich waters. Due to this, we found the largest aggregations of marine iguanas and sea turtles that feed on algae during our morning outing. We also saw the elusive flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins. After our morning walk, we went snorkeling and saw many sea turtles, penguins, flightless cormorants and marine iguanas feeding underwater. The temperature was very pleasant, 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • North Seymour and Rabida Islands

    As we arrived to North Seymour this morning, we could see frigates gliding along the coastline. Some of them were male frigates with a partially inflated red pouches, followed by juveniles and female. After landing, a few feet into the walk we found a land iguana under a cordia lutea tree, and just next to it, on another muyuyo shrub, two endemic swallow-tailed gulls, sitting on the ground on top of a nest made of pebbles. So much wildlife to observe, and this was just the prelude of things to come today!

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  • Genovesa Island

    In the hours before breakfast, we reached shore at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island for an early morning excursion that would christen a day full of adventure. The morning was cool and comfortable, and already there was host of wildlife to be seen here.

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  • Genovesa Island

    Today National Geographic Endeavour II anchored inside of a caldera at Genovesa Island. We started the day with a nice walk on Prince Philips Steps and Darwin’s bay. Sea birds like Nazca boobies, frigate birds, and red-footed boobies were all over the place. The conditions inside the caldera today were perfect for exploring the underwater world, to include snorkeling beside marine animals like the Galapagos sea Lion and fur seal. Paddleboarding and kayaking were on the schedule for additional activity while we enjoy marine sea turtles swimming next to us. It was an unexceptional way to conclude our expedition aboard National Geographic Endeavour II.

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  • Chinese Hat Islet and Sullivan Bay

    National Geographic Islander started the day at Chinese Hat Islet on the southeastern corner of Santiago Island during the morning and moved up the coast to Sullivan Bay in the afternoon. Some guests got an early start to the day over a beach-side stretching class in the morning. We later explored the shoreline over snorkeling, kayaks, and Zodiac cruises.

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  • Plazas and Santa Fe islands

    At 8:00 a.m. we disembarked to South Plaza to explore this small wildlife-rich island. At about 4 million years old, South Plaza is one of the earliest and oldest land masses across the archipelago.

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  • Bartolome & Chinese Hat

    Today we woke up for an early walk uphill to the top of Bartolome, a satellite islet of Santiago Island. This relatively lone island is a good place to see examples of different geological formations, such as tuff and spatter cones, and basaltic flows. The presence of pioneer plants such as tiquilia nesiotica and the lava cactus makes Bartolome a good place to understand how life started in Galapagos after the first plants established themselves in newly formed islands. We also had the chance to explore the underwater world of this place, where we had the opportunity to observe many species of fishes, but the one the definitely caught the most attention of guests were the white-tipped reef sharks.

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