Today we visited two small but interesting islands: South Plaza on the north part of Santa Cruz and Santa Fe to the east. These islands are home to two different species of iguanas: the Galapagos land iguana and the Santa Fe land iguana. The two are home to two different species of prickly pear cacti, both with characteristics unique to their locations. We also observed a number of seabirds and a few colonies of the iconic Galapagos sea lions.
National Geographic Islander
Today was the first full day of our expedition…so exciting! We started our morning with a wonderful breakfast prepared by our expert chef. Afterwards, it was time to get ready and board our Zodiacs. Plenty of wildlife was waiting for us! Our first visit was to North Seymour Island, a place known for its abundant wildlife. We observed male frigatebirds as they displayed their gular pouches to impress the females as they flew by. This is their breeding season, and we weren’t disappointed. We found lots and lots of juveniles and babies still covered in fuzz. Blue-footed boobies amazed us with their courtship displays. We could also see booby couples that had their babies already. Our young explorers were fascinated by the diversity of animals found on this island. We enjoyed the company of lazy Galapagos sea lions and their pups, territorial lava lizards, and yet another endemic species, the Galapagos land iguana. Today we also launched our Global Explorers program. The children joined in a tour of the Bridge and learned more about the devices needed for safe navigation. Later in the afternoon, our guests enjoyed snorkeling lessons given by our expedition staff. We were ready to get in the water! Rabida Island offers a wide variety of fish species. Certainly, the most popular companions were the playful sea lions! After a quick change of clothes, we adventured into the island, this time for a nice, relaxed walk along the beach. We found nesting flamingos, which is quite rare. This species has not bred on Rabida for at least 20 years. What a sight–wow! A baby flamingo was easily spotted, along with a family of oystercatchers, several species of finches, and more sea lions. Another wonderful day in the Galapagos Islands!