DAY 3

North Seymour Island

Early today you will move off the land to the elegant 74’ yacht, the Windrose, you will be treated royally on this state-of-the-art magnificent motor yacht, one of the newest in the islands. You’ll enjoy fully air-conditioned and well-appointed cabins, open deck areas where you can enjoy the sun and the bar or you even may drive the boat from the top deck bridge. A fabulous way to-day cruise in luxury on flat waters, with great volcanic landscapes, unique shore birds and even possibly dolphins and whales

 A dry landing for you as we start hiking the North Seymour visitor trail about 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) in length crossing the inland of the island and exploring the rocky coast.  We’ll have a guaranteed welcoming committee of Sea Lions with babies usually nursing and claiming the mothers’ attention. These Galápagos creatures are world-famous for being so close to visitors, they are gentle and sweet. They love island channels where at night they go fishing, and once again we are entertained by the famous Blue Footed Boobies displaying their courtship.

The island was named after an English nobleman, Lord Hugh Seymour. North Seymour Island has an area of 1.9 square kilometers (0.73 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 28 meters (92 ft). This island is home to a large population of blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. It hosts one of the largest populations of magnificent frigate birds (Fregata magnificent) and a slowly growing population of Galápagos land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus).

The stock for the captive breeding program of the Galápagos land iguana descended from iguanas which Captain G. Allan Hancock translocated from nearby Baltra Island to North Seymour Island in the 1930s. This was very important because Baltra Island had a U.S airbase on it during World War II, while North Seymour, which is uninhabited.

North Seymour was created by seismic uplift, rather than being of volcanic origin. The island has a flat profile with cliffs only a few meters from the shoreline, where Swallow-tail Gulls and Tropic Birds sit perched on ledges. The island is teeming with life. Flocks of pelicans and swallow-tailed gulls feed off shore, and seasonally, Nazca Boobies.

North Seymour is an extraordinary place for breeding birds, and is home to one of the largest populations of nesting Blue Footed Boobies and magnificent Frigate birds. Pairs of these boobies can be seen conducting their mating ritual as they offer each other gifts, whistle and honk, stretch their necks towards the sky, spread their wings, and dance—showing off their bright blue feet. Magnificent Frigatebirds perch in low bushes, near the boobies, while watching over their large chicks. The frigates are huge, dark acrobats with a 90-inch (2.3 m) wingspan. Male frigates can puff up their scarlet throat sacks to resemble giant red balloons. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship. Boobies are excellent hunters and fish in flocks. The frigates by comparison are pirates, they dive bomb the boobies to force them to drop their prey. Then, the acrobatic frigate swoops down and picks up the food before it hits the water.

The Directorate of Galápagos National Park and Island Conservation reintroduced 1,436 Galápagos Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) to Santiago Island on the 4th January 2019 after a 180-year absence. The partners reintroduced the land iguanas in an effort to restore that island’s ecological health and to provide the opportunity for this iguana species to thrive. Land Iguanas were sourced from North Seymour Island, where they were introduced in the 1930s and have increased to over 5,000 and faced a lack of food availability.

On January 12, 2019, The Directorate of Galápagos National Park and Island Conservation used drones to eradicate invasive rats from the island – this is the first time such an approach has been used on vertebrates in the wild. The operation aims to remove Black Rats (Rattus Rattus) and Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus) which are negatively impacting native species. The expectations is that this innovation will pave the way for cheaper invasive species eradications in the future on small and mid-sized islands.

Bachas Beach

Las Bachas beach is composed of two sand bars that have a total of about 1 km in length. It is a white sand beach, deserted and picturesque, where you can see Flamingos, Lapwings, Common Stilts, White-cheeked Pintail Ducks and migratory birds.

The name Las Bachas originates from the World War II, during which time the American army left two barges thrown away on this beach, the first settlers could not pronounce the name correctly in English which resulted in the beach of Las Bachas.

Las Bachas beach represents one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) on  Santa Cruz Island.  Observing sea turtles in their natural habitat is actually one of the most outstanding experiences you can have during your visit to the Galápagos Islands.

Las Bachas is a very popular area for snorkeling, swimming and beach combing. This is a beautiful beach where we can relax and is worth visiting for its tranquility and variety of picturesque natural sites.