We started our day early in the morning with a pre-breakfast visit to Bartolome, one of the youngest islands in the archipelago. We went ashore for a walk, and we were transported back to a time when the land was newly formed. We went to the top of the volcano to enjoy one of the most iconic views of the Galapagos: Pinnacle Rock with James Island in the background.
Back on the ship, our breakfast was enhanced by dramatic views of the impressive volcanic landscape. Later in the morning, we enjoyed Zodiac tours to explore the coast. We looked for Galapagos penguins and ended up on a beautiful beach, where we enjoyed ourselves in the water.
After the beach, we snorkeled under great conditions on the other side of the island. We observed sea lions, sharks, rays, sea stars, several species of fish, and foraging green sea turtles feeding on seaweed. We were surrounded by Galapagos penguins, and we felt accepted as part of this unique environment.
In the afternoon, we arrived at Cerro Dragon in the northwestern realm of Santa Cruz Island. Located in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos. After lunch, we boarded Zodiacs and visited the home of the Galapagos land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus). These yellowish-gold reptiles are one of the most emblematic creatures of the archipelago. We passed through a brackish water lagoon, where we found black-necked stilts, whimbrels, and other migratory birds looking for food. We found several golden reptiles in one of the visitor sites where the Galapagos National Park has put in a lot of effort to control the number of introduced species. Galapagos land iguanas have been repatriated from the breeding center to this area, and visitors have the chance to observe the successful conservation efforts.
Every day in the Galapagos is an opportunity to rediscover the beauty of nature through unbelievable encounters, and today was no exception. Our day was outstanding!