Our expedition began with a hike at Cerro Dragon on the northern part of Santa Cruz. Even though Santa Cruz is the most inhabited island in the Galapagos, there are no human settlements in this area. As soon as we arrived ashore, we could appreciate the remarkable landscape of Cerro Dragon. This site gets its name due to the presence of two species of iguanas, the Galapagos land iguana and the marine iguana. These two reptiles live very close together, but their ecological niches and different behaviors separate them in the evolutionary chain.
Starting at the inner trail, we had the chance to observe several Galapagos flamingos feeding on the microscopic crustaceans that live in the brackish ponds present on Cerro Dragon. During the rest of the walk, we looked for land iguanas in their natural habitat. Our hike’s reward was an amazing view from a natural balcony on a hill, from which we observed Santiago, Pinzon, and Rabida Islands. Later, it was time for a marvelous snorkel, and we found several species of tropical fish, many sea stars, and various marine species.
During the second part of the day, we arrived in Borrero Bay, a location pretty close to Cerro Dragon. This is a great place for water activities, and we had a chance for kayaking, paddleboarding, and coastal exploration with our Zodiacs. By the shore, we observed several mangrove patches that are nurseries for marine species like sharks, rays, and even sea turtles.
To conclude an amazing day, our guests enjoyed a circumnavigation of Daphne Major, an islet that is an important subject of scientific research. Here we enjoyed a beautiful sunset as a day full of surprises drew to a close.