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Christmas Iguana, A Surprise Gift For Everyone

Christmas Iguana, A Surprise Gift For Everyone

A Christmas Stop at Cormorant Point

25th December 2016

After a week in paradise, the inevitable has come. It’s the last day of the expedition and the universe knows it; sun is shining and even flamingoes are out.

Mondays on Floreana Island are special because it is a very active day with plenty of options for all tastes.  We start off the morning with kayaking or snorkeling from the beach. Some guests even decide to just relax on the beautiful beach in Post Office Bay.

At mid-day we went deep water snorkel in what is maybe the best snorkeling spot in the whole archipelago, Champion Islet. Later in the afternoon we watched the sun set at Cormorant Point.

Cormorant Point

Cormorant Point

Our guests have made a big family that loves photography, so it is always nice to stop and take some new shots. The pond where flamingoes can be seen is half full, and even though they are not really close to us we can still get a good look from this moderate distance. But this does not stop us from enjoying this magnificent moment where the sounds of nature connect us with this wonderful place. The light is perfect. The temperature is perfect too.

Our guide knows this is a special moment for everyone here, so he keeps silence and allows nature to speak for itself. Nobody knows when they could ever go back to this place, but we are all sure that if the possibility arises, there will be no second thoughts of repeating this dreamlike experience in the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Christmas Iguana, a Surprise for All

30th December 2016

We celebrated Christmas on board the Santa Cruz II last week. Even though we were far away from traditional mainland celebrations, the spirit of the holidays does not leave us easily! We were able to enjoy food, hugs and sincere good wishes from everyone. Everybody smiles and that is definitely a good thing. New Year´s Eve is just around the corner but it feels different here.  Time is so relative on the Galapagos Islands. Another year is just like another minute passing by, if you think about it on the millennial scale of evolutionary change.

So as we headed to Española Island, the last visit of our Galapagos Islands vessel to the Northern Islands, there was something very special waiting for us. On the pier for our dry landing, playful sea lion pups and hundreds of crabs opened our way to the lighthouse in Suarez Point. Suddenly, something magnificent appeared: a green and red iguana was standing right behind a rock, reminding us what special dates that we celebrated last week, and bringing that Christmas celebration into the present day.

Galapagos Christmas iguana

A Galapagos Christmas Iguana rests on a rock.
Photo: Ethan Ableman

The Christmas iguana is a very special variation of marine iguana that appears (coincidentally on these dates) only on this particular island. The coloration that they acquire is an advantage for sexual selection. In other words, these using these brilliant colors is their way of getting pretty for mating season. I cannot describe the surprise this iguana caused for all the people that were able to catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature. Some children even believed the Christmas iguana was a gift from Santa that was waiting for them. All theories are valid on the unpredictable Galapagos Islands.

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