Santiago Island

Dec 11, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

A fantastic morning in Santiago started with an early wake up call. The first outing was an early photography expedition on Espumilla Beach. Our photographers captured a beautiful nesting sea turtle who was going back in to the sea after laying her eggs during the night. Our guests captured fantastic shots of her going back in the water tired, weak but satisfied. Another beautiful highlight of this outing was three juvenile Galapagos hawks—the mottled plumage of these young individuals was a great pattern to photograph. The Galapagos hawk is the top predator on land in the Galapagos Islands, feeding on more than fifty different species. This juveniles where curiously looking for a prey to hunt.

After a full morning, we came back onboard to enjoy a well deserve breakfast. Our second morning outing was snorkeling; we saw many colorful fishes, sharks, rays with a very pleasant water temperature of 72 degrees.

The Ecuadorian food buffet was the highlight at lunchtime. A talk about Darwin was presented for the guests who were interested in the life of the father of evolution. At 3:00 pm, our guests went to visit a place call Puerto Egas for beach time and snorkeling. After that, everybody joined a walk along the rugged shores of Puerto Egas. The highlights of this walk were the grottos and the tide pools, where we spotted many shore birds, sea lions and fur seals. We were able to admire the sunset, beautiful colors perfect for pictures!

Once we came back on board, we had our traditional recap session followed by a great barbecue dinner arranged in the sun deck by the hotel department, under a gorgeous full moon. What a great day we had!

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About the Author

Roberta Schiess


Born and raised in the Galápagos, Roberta Schiess Bahamonde’s grandparents were among the first permanent inhabitants of Santa Cruz Island, arriving from Switzerland in the 1940s. Her mother is also a naturalist guide in the Galápagos, so this is a profession she has been exposed to her whole life, and she often accompanied her mom as she guided visitors. 

About the Photographer

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

About the Videographer

David Pickar

Video Chronicler

David Pickar is a native of Portland, Oregon. He studied anthropology at the University of Oregon, then spent several years working as a field archaeologist. Participating in excavations in countries like Jordan, Belize and Italy and in every corner of the US, allowed him to witness culture and the environment from an unusual perspective.

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