Today our guests experienced Santiago Island. This is the island that Darwin explored the most when he visited the Galapagos back in 1835. Darwin, together with some crew of the Beagle, camped on the island of Santiago for a week. During this time, Darwin studied Galapagos marine and land iguanas, collected finches, mockingbirds, insects and plants. Most of the species that Darwin collected were unique to the islands. His time on Santiago Island also made Darwin notice that the Galapagos wildlife was strangely unafraid of humans.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we woke up in the western realm, where time seems to have stopped and creatures that seem otherworldly cover the land. The morning started at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island with a hike at the base of La Cumbre volcano, where we encountered hundreds of marine iguanas basking in the sun and sneezing salt they accumulated during their dive in search of algae to feed. Our morning expedition continued in the ocean, where we saw marine iguanas feeding, penguins, flightless cormorants, octopus and so much more. Everywhere we looked, there was something to see. After a delicious lunch, we continued the adventure onboard our Zodiacs, exploring the inside of a collapsed volcano while looking for wildlife. Here we had beautiful encounters with sunfish, manta rays, and sea turtles. Our first day in the western realm ended with a beautiful and magical sunset while we crossed the equator line!