Galapagos Adventure 2016

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Floreana Island
National Geographic Islander

National Geographic Islander

Today we visited the island of Floreana. This island was the first to be colonized by Ecuador, making it the political capital and later transforming it into a penal colony. Nowadays there is a small population of a couple hundred people. In the morning we dropped anchor at a popular place called Cormorant Point. This place received us with a green-olivine beach full of juvenile sea lions. Behind the landing site there is a brackish lagoon where for the first time we found greater flamingos feeding on very tiny crustaceans. The trail was fairly flat and led us to the biggest nesting site for turtles on this island, where we were lucky enough to see the first couples starting the mating cycle that will end with the laying of precious eggs. Also this beach provides great shelter to stingrays from the always fearless sharks so it is a great place for spotting these gentle giants. As all this activity happened before breakfast, we returned soon to get the energy needed for the upcoming day.

The National Geographic Islander next headed to Champion. Here we took our Zodiacs to explore the coast of this islet, which is home to a handful of Floreana mockingbirds. Along the coast we found boobies, gulls, shearwaters, and tropicbirds. But the best of this place is found underwater; so we visited it again, but this time to snorkel. In the very moment we jumped in, thousands of tropical fish were at the surface eating the planktonic life coming with the ocean currents.

Later in the day we moved for a last time to Post Office Bay. Hundreds of navigators arrived to this place in the 17th century to deliver letters to their families as they continued journeys that lasted years. We wanted to keep this ancient tradition, so we landed here to leave postcards for our relatives during this special time of year. Then we cruised along the coast to find turtles, rays, sharks, and sea lions. We returned to finish this wonderful day with a great sunset as wine tasting was offered on the deck.

One of our guides

Enrique Silva·Naturalist

Enrique was born on San Cristobal Island, which is the political capital of the Galapagos. His parents moved from mainland Ecuador in the 1980’s, as did many other Ecuadorians, in search of better work opportunities.