We anchored off the coast of Santa Cruz to admire a vast incense tree forest and black lava fields from a distance. After breakfast, we had a dry landing onto a lava field, which soon led us to Dragon Hill, the natural habitat of the Galapagos land iguanas. These yellowish dragon-like reptiles are unique to the Enchanted Isles.
Along the trail through the incense tree forest, we were fascinated by a juvenile land iguana, only a few months old. It is rare to see baby land iguanas, as they often hide from potential predators in vegetation. One baby land iguana was found resting on a branch of a short bush.
On this trail, we spotted several nests of these iconic reptiles. Some females rested in their burrows. A couple of males with their bright yellow coloration guarded the trail as we photographed them.
After the hike, we returned to ship to get ready for deep water snorkeling around Guy Fawkes Islets. The underwater scene was fantastic! Plenty of schools of yellow-tailed razor surgeonfish, a couple of playful sea lions in the water, lots of colorful invertebrates along the vertical wall. It could not have been better!
After a delightful Ecuadorian lunch, we had the opportunity to go kayaking, paddle-boarding, and Zodiac riding along the coast of “Bahia Borrero,” a visitor site along the coast of Santa Cruz Island. We ended an incredible expedition day with a wine tasting at sunset on the sky deck, as we navigated around Daphne Islet.