It is the beginning of our expedition aboard National Geographic Islander II, and today we visited two central islands, Plaza and Santa Fe. These two islands offered us land iguanas and one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the archipelago. We all got the chance to explore the islands by land and sea, and we enjoyed amazing encounters with the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.
National Geographic Islander II
Genovesa Island, located on the northern side of the archipelago, has a high concentration of marine birds. When National Geographic Islander II reached the central part of the caldera on the island, birds were starting their daily activities. We disembarked on a small, white sand beach in Darwin’s Bay (named as such even though Darwin never visited this site). As we walked along a sandy trail, we found frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, and red-footed boobies, among others. In the afternoon, we took a short hike to Prince Philip’s Steps. We were surprised to find a short-eared owl in the middle of the trail. This nocturnal bird has diurnal behavior on Genovesa, and they are not usually easy to spot. The owls mostly prey on storm petrels. As the density of marine birds is so high here, we observed more frigates, boobies, and even nesting red tropicbirds. After this great walk, the sunset was amazing. It was the perfect way to end our trip.