It’s Sunday, and today was our first full day in the Galapagos archipelago. At the moment, we are in the warm and rainy season. Temperatures can rise pretty high during the day, so we started our adventures early. Our first visit was to a tiny and incredibly exciting island that is full of wildlife! North Seymour is a great nesting place for magnificent and great frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and yellow land iguanas. We easily found all these animals on the trail as we walk through a dry forest of palo santo.

As we walked, we encountered numerous male frigates displaying their gular pouches. They are trying to attract a mate for the breeding season. Land iguanas took advantage of the cooler morning hours to find vegetation to eat. These reptiles feed on weeds and prickly pear cacti. Lava lizards were everywhere, and our younger explorers enjoyed photographing these tiny little reptiles. It is fun to observe their “push-up” behavior.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed the warm waters of Rabida Island, better known as the “red sand island.” The island’s color is produced by iron oxidation over time. This is quite unique as very few beaches in the world have this color.

Later in the afternoon, we walked along the brackish water lagoon right behind the beach, where we found something incredible. We spotted at least 15-20 flamingos filtering mud for their main source of food, Artemia salina. These miniature shrimp make up most of the flamingos’ diet.

On our way back, a couple of playful baby sea lions were very curious about the human visitors! Guests enjoyed observing as a very diligent oystercatcher looked for food to bring back to the nest, where mom was waiting with a very young baby.

What an amazing first day in the Galapagos Islands!