Guests spent the day exploring the island of Santa Cruz. One of four inhabited islands in the Galapagos, Santa Cruz has the largest human population and is considered the economic hub of the province. We spent the morning at a beautiful ranch in the highlands looking for Santa Cruz giant tortoises. We walked the trails, spotting giant tortoises and learning about the behavioral ecology of these magnificent creatures. We spent quite some time taking photos. After a delicious lunch, we visited the giant tortoise breeding center at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we had the opportunity to learn about important efforts to protect species of giant tortoises from extinction. We ended the day with a great visit by some local artists who came on board to share the wonderful creations they make, which are inspired by these islands.
National Geographic Islander II
Our day began with a mesmerizing exploration of Roca Redonda and Punta Vicente Roca. The morning sun cast a golden glow on the towering cliffs that define this part of Isabela Island. We navigated along the coast, observing the diverse marine life that thrives in these nutrient-rich waters. Notable encounters included playful Galapagos sea lions, elegant flightless cormorants, and sea turtles. Snorkeling enthusiasts were treated to a world beneath the waves and non snorkelers saw just as much from our glass-bottom Zodiac. In the afternoon, our expedition led us to the pristine shores of Fernandina Island. This uninhabited island is a haven for wildlife. The highlights were undoubtedly the iconic Galapagos marine iguanas basking on black lava rocks. As we carefully navigated the island's trails, we marveled at the otherworldly landscapes shaped by ongoing volcanic activity. A sighting of a Galapagos hawk soaring overhead added a touch of wild majesty to our exploration. The sense of isolation and raw nature in these untouched Galapagos corners reminded us of the importance of preserving these ecosystems. Our journey continues tomorrow, promising new wonders in this extraordinary archipelago.