At the heart of the archipelago, Santiago hides many treasures. To make the most of it, after a quick coffee and some fruit, we get off the ship early in the morning. With the first rays of sunlight, the view at Espumilla Beach is spectacular. The sand sparkles from olivine crystals as ghost crabs go in and out of their burrows. There is an abundance of bird life. Finches, warblers, and mockingbirds sing. Boobies feed, pelicans perch, and Galapagos hawks greet us. What a way to start the day!

Time for a proper and delicious breakfast while we lift anchor, heading to Buccaneer’s Cove, an ideal place for aquatic activities. The water is so clear we can see many fish from our Zodiacs. The glass-bottom boat, kayaks, and paddleboards are soon in the water. Snorkelers come up with big smiles after swimming with sea lions, sharks, and tropical fish.

Back onboard, we refuel with a nutritious lunch. Then a nap, a photography workshop, or a natural history talk with our naturalists. The day continues with a nice snorkel off the beach at Egas Port, or a pleasant walk along the shoreline. At the golden hour, an American oystercatcher sits on an egg, hawks feed on dead fish, crabs fight, fur seals float on their bellies, and a shark passes by. It’s the basking marine and land iguanas that steal the show.

On board, during the recap session at cocktail hour, we let the experiences of the day sink in. Later, a small concert from our talented crew during a barbecue dinner on the sun deck ends a perfect day at Santiago Island.