Day 4 Oct 29 2012
Overview || Day 1 – North Seymour || Day 2 Isabla Island – Punta Flores and Fernandina – Punta Espinosa || Day 3 Isabela Island – Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove || Day 5 Santa Cruz and Puerto Ayora || Day 6 Floreana – Post office Bay and Punta Cormorant || Day 7 – Santa Fe and South Plaza || Isabela Island Day Trips || Santa Cruz Day Trips || Sierra Negra
Make a wet landing at Rábida Island on a red-colored beach. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9 square miles) allows for the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, hidden behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where at times greater flamingos migrate. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners, as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. During navigation to the next island, dolphins are often spotted. Lunch will be served on board.
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragón (Dragon Hill). Make a dry landing for a walk that includes a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings, and more. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago. This area is a natural nesting site for land iguanas, constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation can be a rewarding location for bird watching. Tonight, the La Pinta team will reveal an expedition plan with interesting sites to visit in the day ahead.
La Pinta makes its way back to the center of the archipelago to the distinctive red beach of Rabida island. We do a short hike on Rabida, then the best day of snorkling so far in the clear, slightly warmer water, then after lunch we go to Santa Cruz Island and Cerro Dragon for a short hike near a lagoon.
Another Panga ride to the beach
La Pinta waits offshore while the Sea Lions laze about
It’s a wet landing so some people dry off their feet.
Galapagos Mocking Bird
Easy hike on Rabida with nice views.
Cool cliffs to watch the birds. Lots of Prickly Pear cacti around
They really want you to stay on the trail, which is good for the animals and vegetation
After our hike we put on our snorkling gear and check out the water
Sea Lions are really playful!
Lots of different schools of fish
We come back to a towel Elephant!
I think this is actually dinner… Thanks Jose!
In the afternoon we go to Cerro Dragon off the coast of Santa Cruz
The Sally Light Foots were all over the rocky beaches
More marine Iguana’s to keep Lee occupied
Brackish Lagoon with a couple of Flamingos and other marsh birds
Another Mocking Bird?
A Land Iguana
We load back onto the Panga’s for the ride back to La Pinta
A Lava Cactus