Depart for North Seymour Island, off the northern tip of Santa Cruz. This island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island a low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. This island is teeming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana; blue-footed booby nests sit beside the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Further along, the rocky shore displays white sand, and large flocks of pelicans mass for a dive-bombing feeding frenzy. The well-marked trail turns inland to reveal the largest nesting site in the Galápagos of the magnificent frigate bird. These huge, dark acrobats have two-meter wingspans, and males, with puffed up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks.
Motoring back across the narrow channel, your afternoon visit is to Las Baches (“The Barges”) where the US Navy once beached and abandoned WWII-era barges. Today, Las Baches’ glorious white sand beach is an important breeding site for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Several nearby brackish lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Enjoy fantastic snorkeling, swimming, or simply enjoying the white, soft beach. Return to Finch Bay in the mid-late afternoon. Overnight Finch Bay EcoHotel.