In the northern part of Santa Cruz Island, we land at a place called Cerro Dragon. We start the day’s activities with a hike to see one of the emblematic creatures of the Galapagos, the land iguanas. The shore is teeming with life. Marine iguanas basking in the sun, sea birds looking for fish or just resting on the rocks. Sally Lightfoot crabs abound on the black rocks. Behind the white sand beach, a brackish water lagoon is the dining table for some waders. A dense palo santo forest is still gray and leafless, telling us the rainy season is not yet here. The forest is home to several species of land birds like finches, mockingbirds, warblers, and flycatchers. Finally, we reach the hill where the land iguanas live and nest. We see them soaking up the sun and take many pictures of these creatures, who are not afraid of humans.
The morning is warming up as we head back to National Geographic Endeavour II to suit up for snorkeling around Guy Fawkes islet where abundant marine life is found. It is common to see tropical fish mix with sub-tropical fish, such as parrotfish and jacks together. We saw sea stars and sea cucumbers with sea urchins in great numbers. The afternoon offers some energetic kayaking and paddle boarding. Sharks of different sorts are abundant, including white-tipped and black-tipped reef sharks. Diving seabirds add suspense and magic to the visit, while our youngest guests learn a new skill: Driving a Zodiac!