Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos archipelago and one of the few places where it is possible to see giant tortoises in the wild. After landing, we boarded private buses to reach the highlands where they live. But first, we stopped in a cloud forest to examine the impressive geology of the Los Gemelos area. Several sink holes, or pit craters, are surrounded by many scalesia trees and other native vegetation. A short distance later, we entered giant tortoise territory. We saw so many of these iconic creatures that gave the Galapagos its name. Afterward, we headed to Las Bachas just a few miles away to enjoy the beautiful white sand beach where turtles lay their eggs. All day long, we were captivated by the beauty and wildlife of this very special place.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today we woke up at Punta Cormorant, where we disembarked for an early pre-breakfast natural history walk. It was a great morning to appreciate the scenery of Floreana Island and to practice our photography skills while enjoying incredible wildlife along the changing landscape of the trail. We also visited a beach where we were lucky to see Pacific green sea turtle nests, and the tracks of recent hatchlings that had come out of the nest in the past few days. After breakfast, we went for a Zodiac ride along Champion Islet. This was a great opportunity to observe different species of sea birds such as brown noddy terns, frigate birds, and swallow tail gulls. We also had the chance to go deep water snorkeling along the shore of this islet, where sea lions were playing around guests. In the afternoon, some guests decided on kayaking and paddleboarding, while others went to visit Post Office Bay, where we found an opportunity to talk about the human history of the Galapagos. We ended the day at Post Office Beach, where some guests had a chance to walk along the beach while others went for a swim.