After visiting southern Santa Cruz and the highlands yesterday, this morning began with sunny skies and a hike on the north side of Santa Cruz. We arrived to step onto black lava rocks and then observed the lush green vegetation and a brackish pond with a Galapagos marine iguana basking in the sun pond side. But today, we were in search of a species we hadn’t seen yet – the Galapagos land iguana. We had to leave the breezy oceanside environment and traverse to the dry habitat of this terrestrial species. The land iguanas were hard to spot among the dry grasses and volcanic ash, but we were eventually able to glimpse their bright yellow markings and spotted several of them. We also had to be careful not to disturb their underground burrows.
We were treated to a delicious Ecuadorean lunch, complete with a roasted suckling pig, a wealth of side dishes, and the most delectable tres leches cake. In the afternoon, we had the choice of kayaking or taking a Zodiac ride to the mangroves. We were treated to views of juvenile black-tipped reefs sharks, eagle and golden rays, sea turtles, and fishing blue-footed boobies.