We had an excellent voyage through the central islands of the Galapagos. Throughout our itinerary, we visited the islands of Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, North Seymour, and Bartholome.
Unique Wildlife on the Galapagos’ Central Islands
On Santa Cruz Island we headed up to the highlights and got a chance to check out the giant tortoises. These hunkering creatures were originally simply called Galapagos by Spanish sailors, as their enormous shell had a peculiar resemblance to the saddlebacks used by horses back in their home country. Galapago is the name the Spanish used for said saddleback.
The unique creature and the name that the sailors gave it would later come to be the name of these incredible islands too.
On the second day we all awoke aboard the Isabela as it floated up towards Santa Fe: quite possibly one of the most unique islands of the Galapagos. This island is a pretty special place where you can swim with sea turtles and sharks. In addition to all this fun, you can also glimpse the Galapagos hawk or hang out with the island’s endemic species of pale Santa Fe land iguanas.
At night we all gathered and observed the meteor showers as the hours passed. This time of year was extra special, given it gave us a sky that allowed us to see the Andromeda galaxy and several other star clusters. All in all, it was a beautiful way of admiring the immensity of the cosmos alongside our guests.
The next morning we got to see a number of exotic Galapagos birds that are actually part of the Galapagos Big 15. Not only did we see the famous blue-footed boobies mating on North Seymour Island but also the large frigates — world-renowned for their red leathery sacks and their fascinating courtship practices. We were ending the day enjoying one of the marvelous beaches that the island is home to, when out of the blue, the flamingos arrived. They went about their business, walking right in front of us to reach their lagoon. In addition to witnessing their feathers we also got to watch as they all took off from the lagoon in their beautiful flight.
Our expedition the next day was incredible. After some great photo opportunities that we took advantage of in the fascinating landscapes of Bartolomé, we we on to swim with penguins, sharks, star fish, and even a manta ray! We couldn’t have asked for more!
As the day ended we watched the sun disappear into the horizon. We were lucky enough to be able to see one of the most colorful sunsets in all of the Galapagos. It was beautiful to have been able to enjoy each one of our days aboard the Isabela II while living alongside the wonders of nature. A Galapagos cruise is a great way to get to know theses majestic and magical islands if one should ever get the chance.
Dennis Ballesteros is our Yacht Isabela II Expedition Leader, 28th November to 2nd December 2016