On board National Geographic Islander II we have been navigating along the southeastern corner of the archipelago. Early this morning we awoke on San Cristobal Island; it is one of the oldest islands of Galapagos, the only one with fresh water, and the first one visited by Charles Darwin on his expedition with the Beagle. We have reached the final full day of our expedition in the Galápagos Islands.
We dropped anchor and prepared for the day’s activities. Before breakfast, we visited Pitt Point for a hike. This is a visitor site where the Galapagos National Park has made a great effort to control the number of introduced species. Here, in one of the most beautiful places on the island, we were able to enjoy the successful outcomes of their conservation.
The highlight of the day: unique red-footed boobies were everywhere! They are one of the three species of boobies, and we hadn’t observed them yet. We also saw the nesting grounds of some blue-footed boobies. After breakfast, we ended the morning with a phenomenal snorkeling experience. We encountered a group of playful Galapagos sea lions, pacific green sea turtles, and a large variety of colorful fish.
After lunch, some of our guests went for a last round of kayaking to take pictures of the different species of wildlife that were all over the shore.
In the afternoon, we disembarked on a long coralline sandy beach for walking and swimming along the coast. We enjoyed the end of our expedition with dozens of sea lions from a breeding colony, the largest population of them in the Galapagos.
As the sun was setting, we returned to the ship with these great memories. It was another special experience in paradise — a perfect way to end this fantastic journey in Ecuador!