Today we enjoyed the opportunity to explore the uplands of Santa Cruz, one of the largest islands of the Galápagos. The humid zone offers perfect foraging grounds for the giant tortoise; in order to find the tortoises, we travelled by bus from the north of the island to the southern side. We found large numbers of tortoises on the privately owned El Manzanillo Ranch. After a delicious lunch, we returned to our ship and weighed anchor. We had reports that Wolf Volcano, located on Isabela Island, was still active! We navigated for a few hours until we reached the coast nearest to the eruption site; from there, we admired a beautiful red glow against the dark night. What an amazing opportunity to admire the forces of nature that produced these magnificent islands!
National Geographic Endeavour II
We continued our journey along Isabela’s coastline. On our fourth day, we visited two unique sites located at the slopes of some active volcanoes. After dinner, National Geographic Endeavour II anchored in Urbina Bay. In the morning, we went for a short walk along the uplifted coastline of the Alcedo Volcano. It didn’t take long until we were greeted by the iconic Galapagos giant tortoise. These dome-shelled tortoises are only found around this volcano. We also spotted beautiful land iguanas for the second time. After an hour and a half of navigation this afternoon, we anchored at the famous Tagus Cove, a popular landing spot in the past for sailors and navy ships from many countries. As we looked outside the ship, we noticed tall tuff walls from two majestic cones, the same ones that Charles Darwin explored during his visits onboard HMS Beagle. Finally, we concluded a very full and active day with water activities: kayaking, snorkeling, and a strenuous hike over the tuff cones along Darwin’s Lake.