On our first full day of this amazing expedition onboard National Geographic Islander, we stopped by South Plaza. Located on the east side of Santa Cruz Island, South Plaza is a 0.13km2 island that holds coastal and arid vegetation, mostly dominated by Opuntia cactus and Sesuvium. Along this 1 km walk, our guests enjoyed nice views from a 30 m cliff and sightings of the endemic land iguana. After an hour and a half of navigation, we anchored at Santa Fé Island. Here, we started with a snorkeling activity with sea lions, stingrays, and turtles! After a great snorkel, we concluded with a short walk along the island among some giant cacti and some unique pale land iguanas that are only found on Santa Fé.
National Geographic Islander II
Our day began with a mesmerizing exploration of Roca Redonda and Punta Vicente Roca. The morning sun cast a golden glow on the towering cliffs that define this part of Isabela Island. We navigated along the coast, observing the diverse marine life that thrives in these nutrient-rich waters. Notable encounters included playful Galapagos sea lions, elegant flightless cormorants, and sea turtles. Snorkeling enthusiasts were treated to a world beneath the waves and non snorkelers saw just as much from our glass-bottom Zodiac. In the afternoon, our expedition led us to the pristine shores of Fernandina Island. This uninhabited island is a haven for wildlife. The highlights were undoubtedly the iconic Galapagos marine iguanas basking on black lava rocks. As we carefully navigated the island's trails, we marveled at the otherworldly landscapes shaped by ongoing volcanic activity. A sighting of a Galapagos hawk soaring overhead added a touch of wild majesty to our exploration. The sense of isolation and raw nature in these untouched Galapagos corners reminded us of the importance of preserving these ecosystems. Our journey continues tomorrow, promising new wonders in this extraordinary archipelago.