Prey and Predator Share a Peaceful Moment on Rabida Island

Galapagos is a fast paced, ever-changing world where the landscape can drastically change in a relatively short period of time along with the wildlife that inhabits it. Animals find smart ways to adapt to their new environment in order to survive, and it is always an amazing experience to see it first-hand. In the Galapagos, every day is full of surprises, and our guests aboard the Santa Cruz II had the opportunity to see some amazing wildlife interaction. Few experiences are as enriching as being incredibly close to harmless wildlife as they are in the archipelago, but on this occasion, we even got to see a beautiful scene in which prey and predator shared a peaceful moment on Rabida Island.

The Famous Galapagos Sea Lion

When you visit the Galapagos Islands, we can almost guarantee that at some point you will come across one of the most emblematic Big15 species of the archipelago – the Galapagos Sealion. This mammal can be found on most of the Galapagos Islands, and in numerous locations on each of these islands. At times, they will be seen basking under the equatorial sun along the rocky shores. Other times, we will get a glimpse of them fishing in the open sea or swimming alongside dolphins. You will also see them climbing impossibly steep cliffs or just hanging out on a beautiful white-sand beach. In fact, and it might sound like something out of a Disney movie, you will also get the chance to go for a swim with these sweet-looking mammals! They are very curious and they will get extremely close to you to get a better look at what it is exactly that’s swimming in their territory. They might try to catch the bubbles coming out of your snorkel or playfully bite your fin! And don’t get scared, for they are not aggressive. However, make sure you are not the one getting close to them, as Park regulations strictly forbid touching the animals.

Galapagos Sea Lion Mom And Pup Resting.
Galapagos Sea Lion Mom And Pup.

The Watchful Galapagos Hawk

The Galapagos hawk is the top predator of the archipelago (and also a member of the Galapagos Big15). This magnificent bird can also be found on many islands. At times, we will be able to observe its nesting spot over by the rocks or flying over the beach. Every now and then, we will see it land on a tree, it will keep a vigilant eye looking for prey while perched on a branch. On certain occasions, guests will be able to see a bunch of them together feasting over their catch, which might happen to be a sea lion cub (much to our own sorrow, but this is nature’s way!). Just like any other animal, young hawks tend to be a lot more curious and less cautious than adults. They might even come a little bit closer to us humans just to have a better look.

Galapagos Hawk Observing
Galapagos Hawk Looking For A Prey.

Prey and Predator on Rabida Island

On this occasion on Rabida Island (visited on our Northern Islands Itinerary) we got to see something incredibly unusual. A young Galapagos hawk was actually on land, standing very close to a grown Galapagos sea lion. We had a young, top predator right next to what would have been a potential prey (had it been smaller). The sea lion didn’t seem to mind the hawk’s presence as it knew the bird was not big enough to be a menace. However, the hawk was walking and jumping around the sea lion trying to figure out if it was to become its next meal. The hawk didn’t really behave in a hostile manner, and it stayed there for a very long time, giving all of us enough time to enjoy such a magical moment, and take some amazing photos.

Predator And Prey In Galapagos.
Predator And Prey In Galapagos.

Updated:May 10, 2023

Published:September 25, 2017


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person



Condé Nast Traveler ONLINE

This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

Telegraph Ultra Travel: 50 Greatest Hotels in the World

When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

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Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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