Española Island

Sep 11, 2017 - National Geographic Islander


Since daybreak we’ve had many sightings! We’ve seen many types of sea birds, sea lions and a majestic landscape! This area is made up of several small satellite islets part of Española Island and on the other side there’s a white sandy beach, home to a colony of Galapagos sea lions. This beach is our destination for today.

It’s a perfect morning indicating the beginning of a fantastic day! The sea birds are skimming the ocean searching for their early meals and the Galapagos sea lions rest on the beach. We are getting ready for exploration-some of us will go deep water snorkeling and some will explore the beach.  

By mid-morning, we went snorkeling in the calm waters at Gardner Bay. It is a world full of life with sea birds and curios young sea lions. There are many types of fish as well. The place seems like an aquarium with colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, sea lions, and many other highlights.  

In the afternoon we landed at Punta Suarez. This part of the island is a jewel in the Galapagos. This island is covered by old lava rocks and these boulders are covered with marine iguanas! The island’s vegetation is a low dry forest and the shore of the island is made up by vertical cliffs formed by basaltic rocks. The views are magnificent and have several sea bird colonies. The largest one is the Nazca Boobies colony which is made up of swallow tailed gulls, tropic birds, and Galapagos shearwaters.

It was an amazing day! And of course, once back on board we celebrated with a drink in hand.

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About the Author

Juan Carlos Avila

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Juan Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador. He spent part of his elementary schooling in the province of Cotopaxi, a beautiful area in the Ecuadorian Andes ringed by volcanoes. In 1989 his family moved to the Galápagos and settled in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in this archipelago. It was here that Juan Carlos finished high school and gained his deep love for nature.

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