As National Geographic Islander approached Urbina Bay at the foot of the massive Alcedo Volcano, our early risers were already on the observation deck. Some guests enjoyed the volcanic landscape, and others attended stretching classes led by our wellness specialists. All of this happened before breakfast!

After breakfast, we departed for a wet landing on a volcanic beach covered by pulverized lava rocks. The beach is a nesting site for Pacific green turtles, and our guests were careful to walk below the tideline so they didn’t disturb the nesting areas.

We took a trail that led us to a lush, green forest of Manzanillo and palo santo trees, home to finches and mockingbirds. The mockingbirds were especially loud as we moved deeper into their habitat. We were really lucky to find the brightly colored land iguana and some of the most iconic reptiles in the Galapagos: giant tortoises. This sighting was a complete surprise since the tortoises have to descend from the volcano to make it here, a journey that can take a little over a month.

In the afternoon, we deployed our kayaks and paddleboards for the first time this trip. Our guests enjoyed several rounds of observing wildlife as they explored Tagus Cove, our anchoring site for the afternoon. Hikes and Zodiac excursions were offered, and everybody participated. We all came back by sunset with big smiles on our faces.