As we arrived at the northwest region of Santa Cruz Island, our first outing was a morning walk around the arid zone of Dragon Hill. The landscape offers a variety of contrasting colors, such as: the older lava rocks, dense coastal vegetation, giant prickly pear cacti, and the sunny sky. We walked along the trails and learned all about Galapagos land iguanas. We were so lucky to experience a skirmish between two male land iguanas that were clearly fighting for territory — they hurt each other so significantly that they were bleeding from the bites. This is something that we don’t see all the time, and it was an incredible experience.
Next, we took the Zodiacs to snorkel at Guys Fawkes Islets. The conditions were very calm in the area and there was plenty of life in the corals, so we saw many different species of fish. The best sighting of this outing was a couple of huge manta rays that swam under the snorkelers for a long time. And this was just during the morning!
Back on board we had an Ecuadorian lunch in the dining room and it was delicious. Different dishes from the coast and mountains of our country were served, and our guests enjoyed them.
During the afternoon there were several activities, including Zodiac driving lessons for the younger explorers (who loved them). Kayaks, paddleboards, and Zodiac outings happened at the same time in different locations. Many of us had the opportunity to see baby blacktip sharks by the coastal mangroves, hundreds of blue-footed boobies along the coast, and even a juvenile tiger shark cruising by.
We ended the day with a wine tasting event while we sailed around Daphne Major Island (which is considered a natural laboratory for scientists), and everyone had a good time on the observation deck.