Today, our land exploration of Santa Cruz started with a visit to Los Gemelos, a geological formation located in the highlands of the island. Our second stop along the road was Manzanillo Farm, where we enjoyed the presence of more than 50 tortoises roaming freely around us. After witnessing the gentleness of these giants, we came back onboard to rest before getting ready for a visit to Las Bachas. This white sandy beach was the perfect spot to snorkel and swim in crystal clear waters. During a hike, a flamingo showed up in one of the brackish lagoons. A full day with a combination of experiences that revealed the wonders of the Galapagos.
National Geographic Islander
This morning we had an early wakeup call in order to visit one of the most famous spots in the Galapagos: Post Office Bay on Floreana Island. We were offered fresh fruits, snacks and coffee before we took Zodiacs to Floreana, where we followed the steps of the first visitors to the archipelago and heard stories of pirates, buccaneers, whalers, and early inhabitants. Some of us went kayaking and others took Zodiac rides around this beautiful area, where baby sea lions played alongside us, blue herons chased crabs, and several sea turtles surfaced every now and then. We also snorkeled with several Galapagos sea lions and many kinds of fish, and later enjoyed a delicious local lunch made with fresh products that our highlands provide. Our exciting afternoon began with the appearance of bottle-nose dolphins swimming close to our ship. We jumped into Zodiacs and saw them very close as they jumped and flipped and cruised near the bow. It was a truly amazing experience. Our next outing was a nature walk around Punta Cormorant. We visited a beautiful small organic beach near a sea turtle nesting area. A great blue heron stood on the site as though posing for our cameras. We also spotted some sting rays in the shallows, ruddy turnstones on the lava, yellow warblers, many Sally Lightfoot crabs, and adorable blue-footed boobies. At night, the barbecue was delicious and some of us even salsa danced to celebrate a fantastic day!