Due to the arrival of various discoverers and settlers over the years, most islands in the Galápagos archipelago have at least one Spanish and one English name. Also called the “Mystery Island,” Floreana has a unique human history, including failed business enterprises and disappearances in the 1930s. During the whaling era over a hundred years ago, Post Office Bay, north of Floreana, was a mandatory last stop for homeward bound ships. At a time when no official mailing system existed, sailors dropped letters in the Post Office barrel with hopes that a future traveler might hand-deliver them. This was the only way sailors could maintain communication with their families back home.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we visited Floreana Island. The island is historically important as the first island in the archipelago to be inhabited by humans. Our day started very early. Early risers enjoyed one of two options: a beautiful, fast-paced walk or a photography walk to explore this wonderful visitor site. Cormorant Point offers one of the most spectacular views on the island and sandy beaches, all on the same walk! We landed at a green sandy beach. After a short walk surrounded by palo santo trees, we arrived to one of the best sea turtle nesting sites on the islands. We enjoyed the company of many diamond stingrays along the shoreline and learned a lot about conservation programs for the island, including an invasive species eradication program. We were very lucky as we observed a single flamingo in the distance and blue-footed boobies very close to our guests. The baby boobies were one of the main attractions. Right after breakfast, we went snorkeling at Champion Islet. This is a spectacular snorkeling site where we snorkeled with lots of playful sea lions, sea turtles, many different species of fish, and even several whitetip reef sharks. The morning was over, but the adventures were just beginning! After a delicious lunch, we explored Post Office Bay and its surroundings by kayak. Countless sea turtles were spotted by our impressed guests, along with the very popular sea lions and a quiet great blue heron looking for food nearby. Later, it was time to follow the tradition of using the oldest mail system in the Galapagos and in Ecuador, the Post Office Bay barrel. Young pelicans accompanied our guests who enjoyed a nice, relaxing time at the beach before returning to our floating hotel, National Geographic Endeavour II . What a wonderful day!