We started our day with a prebreakfast outing to Espumilla, a brown sand beach located on Santiago Island. We had not landed yet when we spotted a couple of Pacific green sea turtles mating! They were swimming very close to the beach and were not disturbed by our presence at all.

Soon after we disembarked, we saw a group of juvenile Galapagos hawks practicing their hunting skills on ghost crabs that easily avoided their attacks by hiding in the mangrove roots and entering the ocean. We had the opportunity to see the hawks up close and take amazing pictures as they perched on the low branches of black mangrove trees that grow along Espumilla Beach.

After breakfast we explored Buccaneer’s Cove with kayaks and paddleboards. It is a dramatic shore landscape made of eroded tuff cones and lava flows shaped by wave action. Snorkelers also had the chance to enjoy the wildlife around small islets covered by sea stars and even spotted a seahorse that was drifting with the current.

The afternoon visit took place at Egas Port where we disembarked on a black sand beach. The trail took us though a lava flow that reaches the ocean. We walked on the shore exploring tidal pools and bays full of wildlife. Returning by an inland path, we passed by a dry forest where curious Galapagos flycatchers followed us.