Today we visited the northern part of Santa Cruz. This area is pristine and uninhabited. After a dry landing on the lava rocks, we went farther inland to observe the Galapagos land iguanas. These endemic reptiles are found only in the Galapagos Archipelago. We were lucky to see several land iguanas right on the trail. This visitor site is very scenic, a wonderful place to capture landscape pictures. The afternoon was spent at Bahia Borrero. It was a busy afternoon with options for everyone! Kids were having fun learning how to drive Zodiacs, while kayakers and paddleboarders explored the coastal area. There were also Zodiac cruises, and we all enjoyed great weather conditions and the amazing wildlife. It is a unique opportunity to see Pacific green sea turtles, striated herons, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, baby blacktip reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, and even a tiger shark…all at the same time and in the same place. It was a fantastic day, and we made great memories!
National Geographic Endeavour II
This morning, we explored the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, and our first outing took us to see the Galapagos dragons. This land iguana inhabits the palo santo dry forest. As soon as we disembarked, marine iguanas greeted us as they sunbathed on the Sesuvium carpetweed found along the shoreline. We walked along the trail and found a brackish water lagoon that is usually visited by birds like white-cheeked pintail ducks, black-necked stilts, and sometimes flamingos. Later, we passed through the dry forest of palo santo and breathed in its fragrant aroma as we headed to observe the eroded volcanic ash on the trail. Land iguanas are endemic to this archipelago and can be found nesting in the area or just relaxing under a prickly pear cactus tree. We saw a spectacular number of iguanas, counting twenty during our walk. The bright colors of the iguanas make them a very exciting sight, which our guests enjoyed very much. Later in the afternoon, our younger explorers took Zodiac driving lessons in the company of their parents and a naturalist guide. It was the highlight of the day for them. The rest of our guests opted between getting some exercise while kayaking along the shoreline of Borrero Bay or simply took it slower and joined a Zodiac tour in the area. During the afternoon, we observed big flocks of blue-footed boobies, which are not often seen in high numbers. We also observed brown pelicans, striated herons, baby blacktip sharks, a small eagle ray, and lava gulls. We ended our day by enjoying a glass of wine while circumnavigating Daphne Major and observing the stunning sunset.