Cerro Dragon and Daphne
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 09 Feb 2022

Cerro Dragon and Daphne, 2/9/2022, National Geographic Endeavour II

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Galápagos

We woke up anchored off the northwest coast of Santa Cruz Island. We disembarked early in the morning for our nature walk to Cerro Dragon. A group of marine iguanas resting on the black basaltic rocks welcomed us. As we went inland, we saw the first brackish water lagoon. We admired a black-necked stilt foraging in the water. As we walked by the second brackish water lagoon, we found five flamingos on the other side. The guests and I took our time to get the best pictures possible.

 

We continued our walk on the trail, appreciating the vegetation of Santa Cruz’s arid zone. Once at the base of the hill, we started looking for Galapagos land iguanas. It was a surprise to look up and find a dark-billed cuckoo on the branches of an incense tree. It is unusual to see a cuckoo in this arid area since it has not rained lately. These birds usually come to the lowlands when the foliage is green and vibrant.

 

We followed the iguana trails and observed many iguana burrows. When we got to the top of the hill, we took in the great landscape. We found many Galapagos land iguanas on our walk, most of them in the distance. When we got to the last part of the loop trail, a big and very bright yellow land iguana was waiting for us to the side of the trail. We took many great photos.

 

On our way back, we stopped at the second lagoon. The flamingos had moved to a very close area. We did what we had to do: we appreciated their beauty and got out our cameras to preserve the moment in photos. After this walk, we were happy to return to the ship and prepare for our next activity of the day, snorkeling.

 

The snorkeling was superb, and the water was refreshing. We spotted schools of fish, a sea lion chasing black-striped salemas, and an abundant number of sea stars on the seafloor. It all made for a great time underwater.

 

In the afternoon, we sailed to our next stop, Borrero Bay. We took a Zodiac tour along the coastline of this beautiful place. We arrived to an area where many green sea turtles swam around our Zodiacs. Juvenile blacktip sharks swam by. We were excited to observe so much action. Shorebirds also caught our attention while they waited patiently for fish to come close.

 

As night fell, the ship sailed toward Daphne Mayor Island. All the guests gathered on the sundeck. We enjoyed a wine tasting experience while circumnavigating this amazing tuff volcano. Such an amazing sunset was the perfect closure for a superb day.

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