Santa Cruz and Daphne Major Islands
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 15 Jun 2022

Santa Cruz and Daphne Major Islands, 6/15/2022, National Geographic Endeavour II

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II
  • Galápagos

Now we are in the northwest area of Santa Cruz Island. Our first outing was a morning walk around the arid zone of Dragon Hill. This place offers amazing landscape as there is a variety of contrasts in color: the older lava rocks, the dense coastal vegetation, giant prickly pear cacti, and a very sunny sky. On top of this, today we saw a couple of bright pink American flamingos feeding in the hypersaline lagoon. Our guests had the chance to take stunning photos. We saw and learned about Galapagos land iguanas, and we were so lucky to see a baby one. For me, this was the highlight of the morning as they are very difficult to see normally. The area was full of blooming Darwin’s cotton flowers, which are the biggest of the endemic plants and lots of insects were pollinating them. There was a lot of activity in the area: large and small painted locusts, flightless grasshoppers, carpenter bees, and zigzag spiders were all along the trail, in addition to some Galapagos flycatchers and many different species of Darwin’s finches.

Snorkeling took place in one of Guys Fawkes islets. The conditions were great, and there was plenty of life in the corals. The very sunny day helped show us the colors of those amazing underwater creatures.

An Ecuadorian lunch was served in the dining room, and it was delicious!

During the afternoon, there were several activities: kayaking; paddleboarding; and Zodiac driving lessons for the younger explorers, who had a great time. There were many golden cow rays in the water, and some of us even saw blacktip sharks feeding close to the shore.

Back onboard, we had a wine tasting while we were sailing around Daphne Major Island, which is considerer a natural laboratory for scientists. It was the perfect way to close this interesting day.

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