After visiting Santa Fe and South Plaza Islands, we headed northeast to visit the central islands. Before breakfast, we began our first kayaking around the peaceful turquoise waters that separate Chinese Hat from Santiago Island. The kayaking experience was spectacular; we encountered penguins feeding on small fish and some blue-footed boobies in a feeding frenzy. From beaches and rocks along the coast, sea lions delighted our guests.

In the afternoon, we headed toward Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to walk over relatively new lava, the result of a volcanic eruption in 1897. We found pioneer plants and lava lizards, and we imagined what the islands were like millions of years ago when they first emerged from the ocean.

Just before sunset, we had a pleasant surprise with the opportunity to observe as Galápagos penguins returned from fishing and headed back to their nests to spend the night.