Today on board National Geographic Islander II we arrived at the north side of Baltra in the center of the Galápagos Archipelago. On this second full day of our expedition we woke up at North Seymour, a small 1.7 square km uplifted landmass. This area is considered the “island of the birds.”
As a pre-breakfast activity we hiked on North Seymour; even though it is one of the smallest islands of the archipelago, it was full of wildlife. The highlight was seeing a seabird nesting colony. Right in our path we observed male frigatebirds courting and young blue-footed boobies waiting to be fed. We also visited the home of one of the most emblematic creatures of the archipelago, the Galapagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus). We found several of these golden-colored reptiles at one of the visitor sites. The Galapagos National Park has put forth a great effort to control the number of introduced species, and we were happy to observe their successful conservation efforts.
After an incredible walk on North Seymour we returned to the ship and smoothly navigated west to Rabida Island. Immediately after dropping anchor we went for a swim off the stern of National Geographic Islander ll. Later we enjoyed a delicious lunch, where our culinary team proudly presented an array of exquisite colors and flavors for our guests to enjoy. Afterward we started the Global Explorer program for our younger guests with a visit to the ship’s bridge.
In the afternoon we went to the beach on Rabida where we had our first snorkeling opportunity for the expedition. There we saw a group of playful Galapagos sea lions, sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of colorful fish.
After snorkeling some of us walked along the beach and encountered a group of American flamingos nesting by a coastal brackish water lagoon. At the same time other guests explored the bay by kayaking. We enjoyed a beautiful and relaxing end of the day at sunset. It was another special experience in paradise, with many memories for our guests to take home!