The protected channel between Sombrero Chino Islet and Santiago Island offers the perfect place for nautical exploration. While kayaking, paddleboarding, or on Zodiac rides, guests were able to observe Galapagos penguins, Galapagos sea lions, striated herons, and bright Sally lightfoot crabs. Later, we went snorkeling and uncovered more of this coastal area. Many had up-close encounters with white-tipped reef sharks, schools of colorful fish, and Galapagos penguins! For some exploration on land, National Geographic Islander repositioned to Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, where guests hiked on a cooled lava flow. We’ve had a wonderful day in paradise.
National Geographic Islander
Our day began with a relaxing morning stretch on the sun deck, followed by a tasty breakfast with muchines de yuca , a typical dish from the coast of mainland Ecuador. Then we disembarked at the lovely black beach of Urbina Bay. We hiked among big bright-yellow Galapagos land iguanas and several female giant tortoises of the Alcedo Volcano. Some guests got a very close look at the graceful Galapagos hawk, the top of the food chain on land. Returning to the beach, some of us swam all the way back to the ship. In the afternoon, at Tagus Cove, we snorkeled from our Zodiacs. Some guests got the chance to swim with Galapagos penguins. Other guests steered kayaks and paddleboards around the cove, checking for marine birds in the nesting areas. We finished the day outside with a great hike among tuff cones in the interesting geological landscape. Text and photos by Bernie Jacome, Naturalist