We woke up as we approached Espanola Island – one of the most brilliant jewels in the crown of unique islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We anchored in the north, Gardner Bay, to spend the morning in these turquoise waters and on the white, soft sand beach.

The afternoon had us traveling to the westernmost point of the island, Punta Suarez, where the wildlife has to be seen to be believed. Nesting colonies of Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, Espanola marine iguanas, Galapagos swallow-tailed gulls…the list goes on. Espanola: an extraordinary place in the East Pacific Ocean, all alone in the southeast corner of a group of islands in the middle of nowhere.