Today was our last full day in the Galapagos, and we visited Santiago, Lindblad’s adopted island. Santiago, also known by its English name, James, is the third largest island in the Galapagos archipelago. Just like Isabela, Santiago had a problem when introduced goats damaged the island’s vegetation and affected the endemic fauna. Lindblad Expedition helped with the eradication of the goats. Thanks to this, people around the world can see the beauty that Santiago has to offer.
We spent the full day on Santiago Island. In the morning, we visited a beautiful beach called Espumilla where green sea turtles come to nest. We enjoyed pre-breakfast kayaking to observe the dramatic Santiago landscape. After our delicious breakfast, we went snorkeling and saw sharks, sea lions, many fish species and lava caves. In the afternoon, we moved to Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, a historical site. A businessman from Guayaquil, Mr. Egas, tried to use the island for collecting salt. Business plans were interrupted in 1959 when Ecuador decided to make the Galapagos Islands their first national park. Sea lions were the stars of the show on Puerto Egas. We also spotted marine and land iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and countless bird species that accompanied us on the sunset hike.
It has been a beautiful expedition shared with a beautiful group of people onboard National Geographic Islander. Although our guests are leaving the Galapagos tomorrow, the Galapagos will never leave them!