South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands

Jul 18, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

We visited South Plaza Island after a dry landing and set out to walk through an opuntia cactus forest. Yellow land iguanas guarded the base of every tree as it is their only source of nourishment during the dry season. Here, we spotted hybrids of male marine iguanas with female land iguanas. Wildlife was found in all directions: We walked along a cliff toward a Galapagos sea lion bachelor colony and observed swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and red-billed tropicbirds. After breakfast we swam in the canal between Santa Cruz and North Plaza Islands. For our final activity we had a wet landing in Santa Fe, which lies southeast of South Plaza. We enjoyed a kayaking excursion and saw the endemic yellow Santa Fe land iguana. It was a fun-filled day and we look forward to more wildlife tomorrow.

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About the Author

Fabian Bucheli


Fabian Bucheli studied at the German School in Quito, graduated from the University of California with a bachelor of science in administration, and earned a master’s degree in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. He has studied in Germany, France, Belgium, and Austria and is fluent in German, French, English, and Spanish. He has always been in love with nature and conservation. Explaining abstract concepts became second nature as a teaching assistant in biodiversity and evolution (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) while working towards a PhD in environmental risk management.

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