We woke up to the view of Dragon Hill, black lava fields and small patches of white sandy beaches covering the intertidal area of Santa Cruz Island. The visitor site is the natural habitat of the Galapagos land iguanas. Some were seen along the trail, including some males feeding on prickly pear cacti.
Dragon Hill or “Cerro Dragon” in Spanish is one of the places within the National Park where the park service has restored the natural habitat by controlling the numbers of introduced species and giving the opportunity for the native and endemic wildlife to thrive. Some of us chose to Zodiac ride along the coast of Santa Cruz Island instead of the hike. Some blue footed boobies and shore birds were seen.
Soon after our land expeditions, we decided to go deep water snorkeling around Guy Fawkes Islets. It was deep water for sure, these islets are found in the middle of the ocean but not too far from the coast of Santa Cruz. A couple of groups were lucky to see a giant manta ray. Some others spotted a couple of white tip reef sharks, colorful sea stars and even a playful sea lion accompanied us.
During our afternoon expedition we had the opportunity to go on a Zodiac ride into some nice inlets surrounded by mangroves where we spotted several baby black tip reef sharks, a couple of white rip reef sharks and we were extremely lucky to spot a couple of baby hammerhead sharks. This was a delightful afternoon where some of us chose to go paddle boarding along the mangroves and enjoy the nice equatorial weather.
What an amazing day with baby sharks, land iguanas and incredible weather.