Española Island, 3/6/2023, National Geographic Islander II
National Geographic Islander II
Española is the oldest island in the archipelago. It is also one of the most diverse, for it is home to several species that are only found here. Visitors are captivated by the amazing white coral beach where sea lions rest before and after fishing. Guests enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking today; all were equally beautiful and fascinating.
On our last full day exploring the Galapagos Islands, we visited San Cristobal Island. We started our day at Punta Pitt, the easternmost point of the archipelago. We observed eroding tuff volcanos. On our walk through the shrubby area, we found red-footed boobies nesting, perching, and resting together. After the hike, everybody enjoyed the opportunity to swim, explore the beautiful beach, and snorkel in the fantastic bay. In the afternoon, we changed locations to Cerro Brujo. Guests enjoyed the white sand beach with the company of charismatic sea lions. What a great finish to an amazing expedition of the Galapagos Islands.
Today we visited Española Island. In the morning, we had a lot of fun with various water activities, including paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and spending time on the beach. Gardner Bay has an amazing white sand beach and lots of sea lions. In the afternoon, we navigated to Suarez Point, where I oversaw Zodiac driving lessons for our very curious Global Explorers. Dolphins joined in the fun, swimming alongside the Zodiac while the kids were at the wheel. Later, we disembarked at Suarez Point and went for an amazing walk to explore the area. We observed a very large nesting colony of Nazca boobies, colonies of sea lions, and so much more. It was a delightful day.
Located in the south of the archipelago, Floreana is a beautiful island with a rich human history. Several books have been written about the island, especially about a series of mysterious events involving murder, death, and desolation. The island was widely used by pirates and whalers in the 1800s for fresh water and tortoises. Today, the island is inhabited by about 150 residents. Three years before the visit of naturalist Charles Darwin, the celebrated annexation of Galapagos to Ecuador took place here in 1832. Early in the morning, we used kayaks and paddleboards to enjoy the wonders of the bay, the landscape, and the wildlife. We made a brief stop at the post office barrel to drop off and pick up correspondence, just as the whalers did beginning in 1793. We continued the morning by exploring the island’s underwater world at Champion Islet. We finished the day with an invigorating hike at Cormorant Point, where we photographed wildlife and the landscape.