Santiago Island is special to Lindblad Expeditions, as it is our adopted island. Years ago, the island was overrun by invasive species, like goats, pigs, donkeys and many others! We adopted Santiago Island to support the conservation and restoration of its ecosystems. Today’s results are amazing! The island is once again a paradise for giant tortoises. Thanks to the restoration program, even the iguanas that Charles Darwin saw on his visit are back.
In the early hours of the morning, we landed on Espumilla Beach for exploration. This was possibly the best morning of the trip, as this place is a breeding ground for Pacific green sea turtles. The turtles come by the thousands year after year to nest in the Galapagos Islands. Pelicans nest in the mangrove forest, and Galapagos hawks perch in trees. What a paradise for wildlife!
We explored Buccaneer Cove after breakfast, where we went kayaking and deep water snorkeling. This was an opportunity to get to know more about the human aspect in the history of the Galapagos. Pirates, whale hunters, seal hunters and Charles Darwin himself visited this place!
In the afternoon, we landed at Puerto Egas. Here, we had a couple of options for exploration. Some guests took a hike along the shore of Santiago Island, which was amazing due to the abundance of wildlife. Guests saw sea lions, crabs, iguanas and seabirds. Other guests snorkeled in the shallow reefs. When you land, you can find the ruins of a human settlement left by salt miners that inhabited this bay back in the 1950s. Today, the Galapagos National Park Service protects and manages Santiago Island.
What an amazing opportunity to visit Santiago Island, and I can say it was another day in paradise!