Genovesa Island

Dec 21, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Tower Island, or Genovesa, is home to more than one million seabirds. They include Nazca boobies, red-footed and blue-footed boobies, gulls and owls. In the surrounding waters are fur seals, hammerhead sharks, turtles, and manta rays.

We landed on a white coralline beach inside Darwin Bay. At low tide and over a platform, we walked among seabirds at different stages of development, from chicks to juveniles and adults. We were also happy to find a few marine iguanas, which are smaller and darker on this northern hemisphere island. On our way back, the rising tide brought into our midst baby sting-rays, puffer fish, sea lions, and many other creatures.

Later on, our last snorkeling excursion resulted in close encounters with many fish and playful sea lions. For lunch, we anchored inside Genovesa’s caldera for a fantastic repast created by our talented culinary staff. Some guests worked off their lunch with a turn on a paddleboard, or a Zodiac ride along the cliffs to spot frigatebirds and red-footed boobies.

As the birds flew above lava formations, we felt transported back to prehistoric times. Galapagos does indeed feel timeless. What an extraordinary privilege to walk among wildlife that has no fear of us, animals that remind us of what we once were. At the end of this journey, we hope these memories will last a lifetime. Adiós, amigos.

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About the Author

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.

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