We spent the whole day at Isabela Island, enjoying the western part of the archipelago one last time. Our planet has seen many changes throughout time, and we are able to witness recent geological activity at Urbina Bay. This area rose out of the sea in the early 1950s. Nowadays it is home to Darwin finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, and Galapagos land iguanas. From time to time, we can observe visitors such as the Alcedo giant tortoise; we were lucky to find several of these gentle giants along the trail. Isabela Island is a marvel of nature, and our guests enjoyed taking pictures of breathtaking landscapes. We had fun while kayaking with Galapagos penguins and snorkeling with Pacific green sea turtles and flightless cormorants. Galapagos…where dreams come true!
National Geographic Endeavour II
This morning, we explored the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, and our first outing took us to see the Galapagos dragons. This land iguana inhabits the palo santo dry forest. As soon as we disembarked, marine iguanas greeted us as they sunbathed on the Sesuvium carpetweed found along the shoreline. We walked along the trail and found a brackish water lagoon that is usually visited by birds like white-cheeked pintail ducks, black-necked stilts, and sometimes flamingos. Later, we passed through the dry forest of palo santo and breathed in its fragrant aroma as we headed to observe the eroded volcanic ash on the trail. Land iguanas are endemic to this archipelago and can be found nesting in the area or just relaxing under a prickly pear cactus tree. We saw a spectacular number of iguanas, counting twenty during our walk. The bright colors of the iguanas make them a very exciting sight, which our guests enjoyed very much. Later in the afternoon, our younger explorers took Zodiac driving lessons in the company of their parents and a naturalist guide. It was the highlight of the day for them. The rest of our guests opted between getting some exercise while kayaking along the shoreline of Borrero Bay or simply took it slower and joined a Zodiac tour in the area. During the afternoon, we observed big flocks of blue-footed boobies, which are not often seen in high numbers. We also observed brown pelicans, striated herons, baby blacktip sharks, a small eagle ray, and lava gulls. We ended our day by enjoying a glass of wine while circumnavigating Daphne Major and observing the stunning sunset.