Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field


  • Santiago Island

    The Galapagos Islands were discovered and rediscovered a few times in the past. Consequently, all of the islands have more than one name. Santiago, located in the central part of the archipelago, is also known as James Island. James was a popular hideout for pirates and buccaneers that would prey on the Spanish galleons found nearby. Here, they were able to find tortoise meat and some fresh water in order to sustain themselves and make their long journeys back home. Today, Santiago is totally uninhabited, and thanks to the great restoration efforts by The Galapagos National Park Directory, this island is full of beautiful landscapes and, just like the other Galapagos islands, it looks like a place untouched by the time.

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  • Charles Darwin Research Station, Highlands, Santa Cruz Island

    The Galapagos National Park Service, together with the Charles Darwin Foundation, are among the most respected conservation institutions in the world. Due in large part to the longstanding breeding centre where tortoises are raised in captivity; a program that started back in the 1960s with the Española subspecies. The population was near extinction due to the presence of introduced goats and donkeys to the Island, which forage the vegetation leaving the tortoises not only without food but also without shelter. After years of research and hard work, the program has achieved 100 percent success. Today over 2,000 young tortoises have been repatriated to their island of origin and are now reproducing in the wild without human intervention.

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  • Isabela

    We started our day very early with a wet landing on a black sandy beach where turtles come to lay eggs throughout the year. A few steps from the beach, we encountered a medium-sized tortoise who walked up to us and seemed to gladly pose for our avid paparazzi! A great beginning.

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  • Santiago Island

    This morning we woke up anchored in Santiago Island, the third largest island in the archipelago. We started our day with an optional early beach walk; some of our guests chose the photo walk, and others went on a nature walk. Afterwards, we came back on board and had a delicious breakfast, followed by several water activities, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling and glass-bottom boat outings. At this time of the year, the cold Humboldt Current arrives to the islands, all the way in from Antarctica, bringing with it nutrients and life. Over time, this amazingly rich upwelling has afforded considerable varieties of marine life to the islands. Our guests have witnessed all the increased hunting and feeding activities of seabirds and the rest of the marine world. As a result, our snorkeling sessions have been great!

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  • Isabela and Fernandina Island

    We navigated much of the night and crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere during the wee hours of the morning. Sunrise found us heading west along the north coast of the large seahorse shaped island of Isabela. Isabela is by far the largest island in the archipelago and has more land mass than all the other islands combined. This morning we navigated slowly and searched for cetaceans and seabirds. We were delighted to find many of both—a pod of several hundred common dolphins gave us an amazing show!

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  • Urbina Bay, Tagus Cove at Isabela Island

    Today aboard National Geographic Endeavour II, we had the opportunity to start the day with a morning walk at Urbina Bay, a black sandy beach located on the rim of Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island. Just when we arrived, a marine turtle was coming back from laying their eggs at the beach. A few minutes later, two little sea turtles hatched and started to make their way to the ocean. As we walked along the trail, we had close encounters with yellow land iguanas and giant Alcedo tortoises!

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  • Bartolome and Rábida Islands

    During the first full day of our expedition we explored the central islands of the archipelago. Early this morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise, with warm sunlight lighting up the stunning volcanic landscape of Bartolome and adjacent Santiago Islands. Bartolome is considered one of the jewels of the Galapagos; it is a small island that is a field guide to geological forms and shapes. Here, we can find the iconic landmark of the enchanted isles: Pinnacle Rock.

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  • Seymour North and Rabida Island

    Today was our first full day in the Galapagos Islands, and we started with one of the most spectaculars islands, Seymour North. Located in central part of the archipelago, Seymour is one of the most important nesting sites for sea birds. A true paradise on earth, today the island revealed all its beauty, beyond any words or pictures.

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  • Genovesa Island

    Today we woke up at Darwin’s Bay on Genovesa Island. This collapsed caldera is a unique place where thousands of seabirds can be observed in their different life stages.

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  • Chinese Hat and James Island

    This morning we woke up anchored next to a shield volcano named Chinese Hat, where we stretched before breakfast on a small white sandy beach. We kayaked, stand-up paddleboarded, snorkeled, and took a Zodiac ride along the canal between James and Chinese Hat Islands.

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