Today was giant tortoise day! There is no better place to find giant tortoises in the wild than Santa Cruz highlands. Our day started early in the morning taking our Zodiacs and landing for first time in the northern part of Santa Cruz Island. Then we took buses and after a scenic drive or less than 30 minutes we arrived at our first stop: The Twins. These two craters are amazing geological formations where we also had the opportunity to observe different species of finches and plants that are unique the humid zone. Later, we drove to Rancho Manzanillo, where giant tortoises roam freely around this beautiful property. After the visit, we had lunch on the ranch, and later we took again our buses back down again to the coast where we boarded our Zodiacs to get back to the ship. After some down time, we took out our Zodiacs, this time to visit a beautiful beach: Las Bachas. This was the perfect way of ending an unforgettable day.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Today was the second full day of our expedition, and we started activities very early to make the most of it. Right after sunrise, we boarded Zodiacs to explore a very interesting visitor site on Floreana Island. Here, a green sand beach was waiting for us. We learned about different types of sand and why the green color of this beach is so special. As we walked a little farther, we arrived at a brackish water lagoon. Flamingos are often observed here, but today was really special. We found nearly 80 flamingos feeding at the lagoon. This sighting was not only rare but also very exciting! We kept walking and arrived at a beach known as “the flour beach.” The beach has a particular type of sand that is not only white but very fine, like flour. Walking there was a pleasure. We encountered a sea turtle laying her eggs and covering them with sand. We observed diamond stingrays along the shoreline as we walked along the beach. Our next activity was an amazing deep-water snorkel. We observed many species of colorful fish along with one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos. The afternoon was equally interesting, maybe even better! We had the opportunity to visit Post Office Bay, the location of the first mailing system on the islands. Long ago, sailors deposited their mail here, and it was collected by other ships passing through on their way back home. Nowadays, the mail system still works the same way. Postcards are dropped off and then picked up by future visitors, who follow the tradition by hand-delivering the mail once they make it home. After this exciting adventure, we enjoyed the clear and warm waters at the beach. Today was another great day in this little piece of heaven on earth.