During the night, we sailed towards our new destination: the historical island of Santiago, also known as James Island. This was the second full day of our expedition on board the new National Geographic Islander II. Today we explored the coastline by kayaks and Zodiacs, and it was fantastic! We had our first encounter with Galapagos penguins. Although we only saw a couple, they were very charismatic and posed for our guests’ cameras. As we continued our exploration along the coast of Chinese Hat, we observed playful sea lions, lava herons, plenty of Sally Lightfoot crabs, and a diversity of seabirds, including brown noddies, Galapagos shearwaters, brown pelicans, and a solitary blue-footed booby that was enjoying the morning sun by relaxing on a lava rock.

After a little break, we boarded the Zodiacs and went snorkeling in one of the most diverse sites in the Galapagos. We swam very close to whitetip reef sharks, different species of fish, and, of course, the charismatic and popular sea lions!

The afternoon was full of different ways to explore. Some of us went for a long walk on one of the most pristine pahoehoe lava fields in the archipelago, where the features of volcanic eruptions can be observed with the naked eye. Some guests decided to go for a more relaxed, short walk to explore the coast. We enjoyed more penguins as they perched on the lava rocks and a couple of oystercatchers finding food along the shoreline.

The Galapagos is full of surprises, and every day brings something new. There’s no doubt that the Galapagos is a destination suited for all ages and preferences. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit soon with your family and friends!