Galapagos islands are famous for their abundance of unique and rare animals. An easy way to see a variety of these fascinating animals and birds is by visiting the very conveniently located North Seymour or Seymour Norte island which are an easy boat ride from Santa Cruz. You can add North Seymour to your cruise itinerary or just book a day trip in advance or while you are in town. We went on Promesa Yacht and booked directly with them. Here’s a journey through pictures –
Disclosure: We were provided a free or discounted tour in return of our honest review. All opinions expressed here are our own and not influenced by the reviewed company and / or its affiliates in any way.
Getting to North Seymour
We started our journey on the Puerto Ayora pier on Santa Cruz island where we met our tour guide and were then driven off to the Itabaca channel. From there we took a boat ride to North Seymour, which is pretty close to the Santa Cruz islands and takes less than an hour to get there.
We then boarded our vessel for the day “Promesa Yacht” which is a luxury boat with 14 other passengers. The yacht had an inner sitting area, some seating on the deck and also on the top with the captain. We were given a quick briefing for the day by our naturalist guide after which we quickly staked our spot on top of the boat with the captain to to combat motion sickness and also to enjoy the views.
Once we got close to the coast, we were tendered off in small zodiacs to the island. The Galapagos Conservation Trust regulates the number of visitors on the island at any given time and you cannot spend more than a few hours as a result of that. This applies to both day tour boats and cruises.
As soon as we step foot on the island we see abundant bird life and land iguanas waiting to greet us. It is just a wonderful experience to get to an uninhabited island and see the birds and animals comfortably roam around you without fear.
Along the trail we saw a colony of frigate birds and more iguanas warming on the rocks.
Our guide was very good. Instead of boring us with hundreds of facts and figures, he made us understand the reasons behind the colors, mating patterns, daily behaviors, etc. so we could apply these basics to understand the evolution of these species.
And now for the highlights!
We saw red chested Majestic Frigate birds puff up to indicate they are ready for mating, blue footed boobies many baby birds since we visited at the end of May!
And some more iguanas
After a couple of hours walking around the island, we headed to Bachas beach for snorkeling
The beach was beautiful and we snorkeled for 20 minutes. The primary destination of this trip was North Seymour so this was a nice secondary activity but nothing to go out of the way for if this stop is not included in your itinerary. Here are some pictures from the beach –
We highly recommend visiting North Seymour. Here are some more details in case you are comparing it with other islands.
Wildlife highlights – Blue-Footed Boobies, Frigatebirds, Colonies of California Sea Lions, Marine Iguanas, Land Iguanas (occasionally), Swallow-tailed Gulls, Red-billed Tropic birds and Nazca Boobies (occasionally).
This is the only location where we saw the red chested frigate birds up close during our visit.
Visited by: Part of cruise itinerary or day tours. We think this is a good destination to add before or after your cruise itinerary since it is easy to reach from Santa Cruz.
Best time to visit: You can visit the island all year around. The best time to visit is is mid-May to end of June since it is the mating season – you will see red frigate birds puff up their chest, blue footed boobies performing a courtship dance and hundreds of cute little baby birds hatching.
Tour booking: You can book this tour in advance or after you get to Galapagos. We booked the tour directly with Promesa Yacht with Conchita on Whatsapp ( + 593 99232-0485 ) prior to arrival and paid after getting to town. The yacht was in great condition and the naturist guide was very good so we recommend this tour company.