Today was the first full day of our expedition. We started the morning by exploring one of the largest nesting grounds for magnificent frigatebirds in the Galapagos. Frigates nest in these grounds all year, and blue-footed boobies and yellow land iguanas also live and breed here. We walked along the palo santo dry forest as we learned more about various creatures and the ecology of the island. We had our first sightings of lava lizards, small reptiles found on most of the islands in the archipelago. We observed swallow-tailed gulls nesting near the rocks by the beach. Our guests were very surprised by the tameness of the wildlife; it is easy to photograph animals here.

The afternoon started with our first water activities on Rabida Island, which included deep-water snorkeling for experienced guests. A refresher was offered so those who had not snorkeled in a long time could also enjoy the marvelous underwater world.

This island offers a wide variety of fish and an incredible beach, one of the few red sand beaches in the world. Behind the beach, a lagoon is a nesting place for flamingos. Flamingos were a highlight of the day, but we can’t forget about the most popular animal in the Galapagos: sea lions. Today, our guests learned to differentiate seals from sea lions as we observed many on the beach and while snorkeling.

Today was full of wildlife and knowledge! What a great way to start our expedition!