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Espumilla Beach on Santiago

Cruise Fifth Day (Monday) - Galapagos Odyssey - 5 night / 6 day Itinerary C (Western Islands)

AM: Santiago, Espumilla - wet landing. Activities: Walking, Snorkeling

  • Espumilla means “foam” in Spanish and refers to the waves that break along this glorious golden sandy beach.
  • Behind the beach and mangroves, where green turtles nest, there is a lagoon that more or less dried up after the 1982/83 El Niño current, which was particularly strong that year but is still populated by flamingos, pintail ducks, and common stilts.
  • This site is also a good place to look for the Galapagos hawk and to spot the Galapagos petrel. Pelicans feed near the beach which has lots of ghost crabs.
  • There is usually enough time at the end for swimming and snorkeling.

AM: Santiago, Bucaneer Cove - no landing. Activities: Panga Ride, Snorkeling

  • Pirates once scoured this bay for food (mainly tortoises) and water, but it is now the domain of sea lions and some fur seals that made this spectacular landscape their home.
  • Look for two unusual rock formations that have eroded to look like “the monk” and “the elephant.”
  • Charles Darwin camped here for nine days in 1835, spending nearly half his time on shore at this one island. It is no longer a landing site, but a panga ride can be rewarding, with views of brown noddies, pelicans, herons, swallow-tailed gulls, and boobies, as well as the sea lions and fur seals.
  • Snorkelling is still allowed from the panga.

PM: Santiago, Puerto Egas - wet landing. Activities: Walking

  • Puerto Egas is one of the best visitor sites of Santiago Island. It got his name from the salt mining efforts undertaken by Hector Egar during the 1920s, and that proved to be a failure; even though the salt could be extracted quite easily, the transportation costs made the whole enterprise not viable.
  • Today, the salt-lake crater is home to white-cheeked pintails and the occasional flamingo but is not open for visitors.
  • Thanks to its beach, from where is possible to swim or snorkel, Puerto Egas is a very good place to observe shorebirds looking for food on during low tides and a short trail takes you to a rocky landscape shared by fur seals and young sea lions.

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