Dynjandi & Vigur Island

Jul 18, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

Our guests hiked to the Dynjandi Waterfall this morning and experienced breathtaking views. The waterfall begins at 330 feet in elevation, then cascades down on the horizontal layered volcanic lava flows. In between the black colored basaltic lava flows, we found red baked soil. Once a lava flow cools off and settles into solid rock, plants are able to grow. Over time, the organic material will form soil, and when a new lava flow flows on top of this soil, the heat from the lava, which could be greater than 1,100 degrees Celsius, bakes the soil into brick. The iron in the soil gets oxidized in this process and assumes a bright red color.

After spending the morning with the waterfalls, we repositioned National Geographic Explorer to our afternoon destination at Vigur Island. Before arriving, however, guests enjoyed presentations given by our naturalist Javier Cotin and Global Perspectives guest speaker Silja Omarsdottir.

Vigur Island is a tiny little island located in Ísafjarðardjúp, a larger fjord in the Westfjords region of Iceland. This island has been home to a family of farmers that goes back seven generations, each of which has collected eiderdown from the nests of the densely populated eider duck on the island.

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About the Author

Andreas Madsen


Andreas was born in the village of Ebeltoft on the central east coast of Denmark and has spent his childhood years with the sea and open fields as neighbours. For a child of the North, fishing, bicycling, skiing, and hiking come along with your first steps and nature has always had a self-explanatory role in Andreas’ life. Between studies he left Denmark to travel and it was during his months in South America he discovered his curiosity and interest for geology. 

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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