We spent the whole day at Isabela Island, located in the western part of the archipelago. In the morning, we went out for a hike at Urbina Bay. This visitor site is of recent formation. The upheaval just occurred in 1954, and the place thrives with wildlife. It is home for several species of Darwin’s finches, the Galapagos hawk, and Galapagos land iguanas. Sometimes, Alcedo giant tortoises visit this site, too. The tortoises were numerous this morning, and it was a delight to see them walking along the trails. In the afternoon, we visited the historical site Tagus Cove. Once a place to drop anchor and look for water and food, it is now a great place to kayak and paddleboard. It was fantastic, and we enjoyed every minute. The highlight was to be so close to a huge manta ray. Snorkelers were able to enjoy that, too, and we finished the day with an invigorating hike to the top of the cone and a great Zodiac ride to observe Galapagos penguins! What a fantastic day!
National Geographic Endeavour II
North Seymour & Rabida Islands
We began our day with a landing on North Seymour, where we encountered hundreds of birds, mostly frigatebirds flying overhead. We followed a path that took us to a breeding site of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. We watched their mating displays in awe as nature showed us its wonderful ways. Male frigatebirds inflated their red gular sacs and stretched out their wings trying to attract a mate. Male blue-footed boobies slowing raising their cerulean feet to show a potential mate that they can fish well and support a nest. We also spotted land iguanas, marine iguanas, lava lizards, and a Galapagos racer snake along the path. We continued our navigation to Rabida Island, famous for its red sand beach, a coloration resulting from iron oxide in its volcanic soil. Those who chose to snorkel were delighted with sightings of sea turtles, sharks, Galapagos sea lions, and colorful fish. As the sun dipped into the horizon, we continued with a casual walk to a brackish pond that has a resurgent population of American flamingos, an excellent way to finish this day.