There were a wide-open blue sky and mesmerizing clouds that drifted over us in giant puffs consisting of grey, blue and white; some even had the shape of American flamingos. The sun was shining at full blast in all its magnificent glory, greeting our esteemed guests to the Galapagos Islands with golden rays. It wasn’t long before our new group had settled into their respective cabins on the Santa Cruz II Cruise – their home away from home for the next 5 days.
This was the beginning of yet another great journey through the Galapagos Islands.
Eager to start our adventure, we all hopped into the pangas (zodiac boats) to get to our first visitor site from the Santa Cruz II. On this day, we were stopping at Las Bachas beach over on Santa Cruz Island.
Las Bachas consists of a beautiful bay with some dark rocks that flank its sides and stand in stark contrast to the strikingly yellow sand that covers the beach. It’s the perfect place to get an initial taste of the Galapagos and what it’s home to.
Following our landing and exploration of the shores, we headed over to a hidden lagoon that’s tucked behind the beach. It’s here that we stumbled upon blue-footed boobies diving down for fish and striking them out of the water. Frigates eagerly flew over the area, waiting for the perfect moment to swoop down and steal their catch. Off to the side and along some rocks, we got the chance to see a couple of marine iguanas basking in the sun and even a great blue heron that was just hanging out, even posing for our photos. Content and satisfied by the diversity of wildlife we’d managed to see in just a couple of hours, we walked onwards to the lagoon. It was here that we came upon our greatest and pinkest prize: two American flamingos, as pink as cotton candy, were standing directly ahead of us.
They stood fairly close to our group, gracefully walking across the lagoon like ballet dancers on water. Their heads would occasionally drop down and dip underwater as if bowing for us (but really just looking for food). There were even moments when tiny ducks swooped in and landed in the water to play for a bit before getting restless and flying off again.
The American flamingos, however, stole the spotlight each and every time. They might have even enjoyed being the main attraction because it turns out they never flew away during the whole time we were there. This bit of luck gave all of our guests the opportunity to not only take amazing pictures of this gorgeous and unusual bird but to also pose and take various pictures of themselves with some wildly beautiful American flamingos in the background.
All in all, we walked away from this whole experience in awe and with an immense level of satisfaction that would stay in our memories for months (maybe even years!) to come.