Floreana Island is very well known for its human history, rich biodiversity, and unique wildlife. Today we woke up anchored at Punta Cormorant, a popular visitor site on Floreana Island. We started our morning with a pre-breakfast hike and landed on a beautiful beach. The sand is uniquely green from pulverized, olivine crystals. White sand is composed of finely crushed coral.
This place is a great site to observe flamingos. Unmistakable due to their size and color, today our guests saw at least 60 flamingos. This is a significant amount since the flamingo population in the islands is estimated to be around 500. It was great to observe adults, babies, juveniles, and even a couple Chilean flamingos; they were a little bit lost. The only flamingo population in the Pacific Ocean, Galapagos flamingos are a subspecies of the American flamingo. They nest in the dry season. They build nests on the edges of the lagoon, and heavy rains could damage them. Galapagos flamingos are the (naturally) pinkest flamingos in the world.
After our hike, we returned to the ship for a delicious breakfast and to prepare for water activities at Champion Islet, a small islet near Floreana Island. It is famous for its excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. The waters around Champion Islet are teeming with marine life, including sea lions, sea turtles, and a variety of fish species. Snorkelers and divers can explore the vibrant underwater ecosystem and witness the beauty of the Galapagos marine reserve; our guests were thrilled with this experience.
Post Office Bay is another notable site on Floreana Island. It has historical significance as it is home to a mailbox used by whalers and sailors in the 18th century. The tradition of leaving postcards and letters in a wooden barrel continues today, and guests joined in the tradition by picking up postcards addressed to their home countries with plans to deliver or post them upon their return. What a great day we had on the island!