One of the most astonishing islands in Galapagos is Española, formed about 4.5 million years ago. Marine iguanas are probably one of the oldest creatures that arrived here (more than 3.2 million years ago). They have been remarkably successful in adapting to this inhospitable environment of black rocks, arid vegetation, and saline ocean.
In the morning we explored the turquoise waters and white sandy beaches of Gardner Bay, where a big colony of Galapagos sea lions were basking under the warm equatorial sun. We disembarked on the beach to explore further. It really is a great experience to sit close to sea lions and be part of their lives, to understand their social structure and how they communicate with each other. We also explored the coastline by kayaking and snorkeling. Snorkeling here is a fantastic activity; playing among sea lions, tropical fish, and other marine creatures is certainly one of the greatest experiences of our trip. Then the greatest gift of our day was the unexpected whale show: a big mother humpback whale and her calf came very close to the beach in shallow waters. To have them so close was a memorable experience.
In the afternoon we went to Punta Suarez, a place full of wildlife. Visiting there is like being in a Galapagos documentary; many types of creatures are seen everywhere you look. One of the best spots is the incredible cliff where many seabirds glide. One such bird is the endemic waved albatross, a unique and majestic species that only lives here in this remote part of the world. A blowhole gives a very special touch to this area, as these natural formations change the surface of the nearby land. Salty mist from the blowhole prevents the growing of plants, creating a type of desert. Española is a magical place to admire; it is one of those places that you never want to leave.