Espanola Island

Jan 29, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Today we visited the magical island of Espanola, also known as Hood. Espanola is one of the oldest island we will get to visit this week and one of the highlights of this expedition due to its high percentage of endemism and overwhelming wildlife. Espanola island is a magnet for sea birds, sea lions, marine iguanas among other Galapagos species. We woke up to sunrise to kayak in the beautiful Gardner Bay and then went in the water for some snorkeling in the crystal clear water that bathes this island. Gardner bay lies along the northeastern of the island where a flawless white sand beach stretches along its coast, home to a colony of playful Galapagos sea lions. In the afternoon we visited Punta Suarez as we hiked along the trail having very close encounters with the wildlife. As we walked along this trails and saw the tameness of this beautiful creatures we could only stop and wonder how beautiful would the world be if we could coexist like animals do in the Galapagos Islands.

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About the Author

Gianna Haro


Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

About the Photographer

Vanessa Gallo


Vanessa Gallo’s grandparents arrived in the Galápagos Islands in 1936, making her the third generation of her family to live and work in this magical archipelago. She left the islands for the capital city of Quito for high school, where she discovered that learning foreign languages was one of her main interests. Coming from a family of naturalist guides, it was not a surprise that she also became one at the age of 17. Vanessa left the islands once again for Switzerland, where she earned a diploma in tourism and strengthened her language skills and knowledge of the travel industry. She has also travelled extensively to destinations including as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Canada, the Canary Islands, Mauritius, and many European countries.

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