On our very first afternoon in the park yesterday, we observed frigates plucking hatchling marine turtles out of the sand, as well as a black-necked stilt with four black eggs right on the path next to the lagoon at Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island.

Today was our first full day. We observed frigatebirds courting. The red gular pouches on the males catch the attention of the female. One of our guests spotted a very young land iguana. This was only my second such sighting on the island in some 30+ years of visits!

Rabida’s red sand beach was ground zero for snorkeling operations in the afternoon. Almost everyone made it out into the warm water – 81°!

The grand finale was our walk behind the beach to a small lagoon with bright, salmon-pink flamingos. Some paler, whitish juveniles walked the water’s edge, just a few meters away from us. They stomped their feet, stirring up invertebrates from the muddy bottom.

Finally, sea lions hung out at the end of the beach, which turned an even deeper red at sunset. We observed mothers and pups, plus older individuals. Unfortunately, we ran out of light and had to come home for a wonderful shower, dry clothes, and cocktails…no complaints there!