We started our day with a pre-breakfast walk on Punta Cormorant, one of four green sand beaches in the world. The color of the sand is due to olivine, a mineral found in igneous rocks and in a gemstone known as peridot. We saw traces of olivine in the sand during our early morning walk. We explored the area and found a couple of flamingos in the brackish water lagoon and several blue-footed boobies with their chicks right next to them. The vegetation along Floreana’s shoreline is very special, as we can see several endemic species. Some of them were being pollinated by Galapagos carpenter bees, which were very active and curious around us. We continued visiting the other side of the point, where Flour Beach is located. Stingrays fed in the sand, and we even found a baby green sea turtle trying to get to the ocean. A frigatebird caught it, which was very hard to watch but also very interesting.

After breakfast, we went on a snorkeling outing, which was amazing. The conditions and visibility were great. Plenty of fish, playful sea lions, and even a well-camouflaged octopus were all part of the attractions.

Back on board, our Mexican lunch was delicious. In the afternoon, we started with multiple activities, including kayaking and visits to the famous Post Office Barrel. We collected some postcards to deliver to people, and we left behind our own postcards for some relatives and friends. This tradition has been in place since 1793, and it still works on Floreana Island. It is one of the most popular places to visit in the archipelago.

We spent the late afternoon around the Baroness Lookout, which is a beautiful bay. The bay is home to Galapagos sea lions and a peaceful hangout spot for sea turtles. We enjoyed a wonderfully calm and quiet kayak along this magical shore. It was the perfect way to finish another day of this expedition.

Photo caption and photographer: The Post Office Barrel is located at Post Office Bay on Floreana Island. This very important historical spot keeps alive the tradition of delivering letters and postcards from the Galapagos. Photo by Paola Luque