This is a very special week for all of us on National Geographic Endeavour II. It is not very often that we get the opportunity to host local guests onboard our ships, especially those that work outside of the tourism industry. But this week, we have the pleasure of showing this amazing archipelago to Galapagos locals. Although they have lived here most or all of their lives, they may not have had the chance, money, or time to explore beyond the inhabited islands. Lindblad Expeditions, together with the Galapagos National Park, and its program Explora Galapagos, are making this possible. Local fishermen, senior community members, and farmers from different islands were invited to enjoy this expedition with our appreciation of the work they’ve done for us and for the entire population.

Our first outing after the navigation from San Cristobal Island was in Punta Suarez, one of the gems of the Galapagos. One of the colonies of waved albatross on Española Island is here, and as we hiked around we experienced (for our local guests, for the very first time) this majestic bird. The biggest birds of the archipelago, some of them were doing the courtship, while some chicks were just waiting for their parents to come back and feed them, and many other birds were just practicing their flying and gliding skills. All the while, our local guests were amazed, contemplating them from the cliff.

There were a lot of blue-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as many marine iguanas and baby sea lions on the rocks and beaches. We stayed there almost until the sunset, and we ended a perfect first day with smiles on the faces of our local visitors.