Today it was time to visit Santiago Island, Darwin’s favorite! When Darwin was in the Galapagos, he spent nine out of nineteen days on this island, and today we got to retrace his footsteps. How exciting!

We started early morning with probably the best kayaking opportunity in the central islands. A couple of penguins, sea lions, and pelicans greeted us. Some guests enjoyed a relaxing stretching session on the beach on Chinese Hat, which is often covered by the tide but today conditions were just perfect. Snorkeling in this area tends to be a highlight of the expedition, so we could not miss the opportunity to look for sharks, rays, turtles, and a big variety of colorful fish.

The afternoon was marked by adventuring into one of the youngest pahoehoe lava flows in the Galapagos. We explored the field and looked for volcanic formations and the pioneer plants that are the first to establish themselves in any new lava flow. What a great glimpse of how the Galapagos looked in the very beginning. It was an extraordinary day!

Photographers: Adriana Aguirre and Ramiro Adrian, Naturalists