To celebrate the Fourth of July, we explored the islands of North Seymour and Rabida looking for colors of the American flag. A blue-footed booby, a magnificent frigatebird with its red inflated pouch, and their chicks with white down plumage. These two islands may be small, but they are teeming with life. Early in the morning, we start our activities with a hike to encounter animals that everybody is longing to see!
National Geographic Endeavour II
Sunrise was a bit overcast, and the wind of the dry season made small waves that gave the first morning impression of the isolation and wildness of western Galapagos. We landed on Urbina Bay first thing in the morning, in the search of the Galapagos land iguanas. As soon as we started our hike inland from the black sand beach we found a giant Alcedo tortoise. It came out from the bush in the middle of the trail. It was feeding from the poison apple tree because it is one of the very few animals that can eat this plant. On this walk, we also found a male land iguana that was setting his territory boundaries by walking from one side to another around a big nest. Many other land iguanas showed up as we kept walking into the forest. The morning ended with a refreshing swim off the beach, surrounded by turtles and flightless cormorants. In the afternoon we moved to Tagus Cove, a sheltered rocky bay where flightless cormorants and penguins are nesting. We enjoyed the presence of these unique animals kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling around the cove. We ended our day with a walk to Darwin Lake, one special site with a magnificent landscape of tuff cones and geological structures, and also a Zodiac ride along the wall of the cove finding many marine birds and iguanas feeding.