Today was our last full day in the Galapagos, and we visited San Cristobal Island, one of the archipelago’s oldest islands. This is also the southernmost island of the Galapagos, which is why we find red-footed boobies here. This species of booby likes to nest on the edge of the archipelago since it gets its food from the open ocean. By nesting on islands that are closer to open ocean, they are closer to their feeding grounds.

We started the morning with an invigorating hike to the top of Punta Pitt. Red-footed boobies nest on trees, so we had better chances to see them by hiking higher. As we hiked along Punta Pitt, we encountered both morph types of red-footed boobies, the brown and the white. They were busy building their nests, mating, learning to fly, and posing for our pictures. We also got to meet blue-footed boobies again. One specific nest stole our hearts; it was that of a male blue-footed booby with two babies. The babies looked healthy and ready to get out in the world.

The morning continued on the beach at Punta Pitt, where we snorkeled, swam with sea lion pups, and watched the sea lions nap on the beach. We paused for a moment to take in all the beautiful memories and experiences of this week.

The day ended on Cerro Brujo, a white sand beach that took our breath away. The beach was a beautiful location to see the sunset, and it was home to different colonies of sea lions, who again let us share the beach with them. Galapagos is truly a magical place, and we are happy to share our home with the world in the name of conservation!

PHOTO: View of Kicker Rock, a tuff cone formation near San Cristobal Island. Photo by Gianna Haro