On the equator, we only have twelve hours of daylight – all year long. Our guests have come a long way to see these remarkable islands with their unusual inhabitants, so we need every minute of daylight we can get.

At daybreak, we loaded the Zodiacs and headed ashore. An invigorating climb up wooden steps brought us to the top, and we were rewarded by one of the most spectacular views of the entire archipelago. We observed Bartolome with its exposed, barren beauty of lava and ash with James Island (Santiago Island) in the background. Pinnacle Rock called our attention next to the beach. From the Zodiacs, tiny but charismatic Galapagos penguins were seen, admired, and photographed!

Snorkeling was a complete success, and practically all who tried emerged as comfortable snorkelers, ready for future deep-water outings.

In the afternoon, we traveled south to Cerro Dragon, a visitor site on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. On hikes over boulders or Zodiac rides along the shore, wildlife was spotted, including Galapagos land iguanas and blue-footed boobies resting on rocks. We observed the giant cacti of the Galapagos, which is unlike any other on Earth.