As we traveled to the central park of the archipelago, we encountered a different topography amongst the volcanos. Also known as James Island, Santiago is a middle-aged volcano at approximately 1.5 million years old. Santiago is an amazing place with many natural resources, and National Geographic Endeavour II offered guests a variety of activities.
Before breakfast, we organized an outing so guests who enjoy photography could take advantage of the perfect light in early hours. On beautiful Espumilla Beach, we encountered sea turtles close to the shore, land birds, Galapagos hawks (juveniles and adults), and so much more! The morning’s highlight was a stretching lesson offered by our wellness specialist. What an incredible and relaxing moment on the beach.
While some guests were enjoying the photography outing, others took a nature walk. Guests explored at a leisurely pace, slowly observing their surroundings and interacting with nature. We had an early outing with kayaks and paddleboards. This is always a great adventure, especially since paddling close to shore offers glimpses of diving boobies, basking marine iguanas, and swimming sea lions.
After a well-deserved breakfast, National Geographic Endeavour II sailed to the very famous Buccaneer Cove. Once used by sailors for freshwater and tortoises, the cove is a magnificent site. Kayaks were available, and tours on the glass-bottom boat allowed guests who did not want to snorkel to see the underwater world of the Galapagos. Snorkeling from the Zodiacs was such a great experience. The waters were calm, clear, and full of different species of fish. We even spotted a huge marbled stingray! It was like diving in an aquarium with such a variety of fish species, coral, and invertebrates.
Our afternoon in Puerto Egas was amazing! Ecuadorians once used this site for salt mining in a salt lake crater until the activity was no longer profitable. We observed lots of wildlife, including land birds like finches, mockingbirds, and hawks. We observed seabirds along the coastline, marine iguanas, sea lions, and fur seals. We celebrated an amazing day with a beautiful sunset, the kind that only occurs in the Galapagos Islands.