Española Island

Feb 26, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


After the fists taste of the Galapagos Islands the previous day at Cerro Tijeretas, San Cristobal Island. Today our guests were eager to explore the Island of Española with the different alternatives offered by our expedition leader Vanessa.

Although the weather condition was not the best, early risers joined us for our first outing “kayaking” at 06:30 am along the bizarre and rusted coastline of the oldest island in the Archipelago. After breakfast, we all gather at the teak deck to gear up for deep-water and beach snorkeling. Keen to know more about the wildlife they landed at the white sand beach of Gardner Bay with sea lions that were playing with the small breaking surf.

In the afternoon, the National Geographic Islander was repositioned at the far northwest point of the island of Española. Punta Suarez is a must do hiking because of the biodiversity that is endemic to the place. Been the island older than the others in this isolated archipelago; it has its own unique ecosystem with high percentage of endemism. We got off on the small pier made from basaltic boulders where sea lions and colorful Sally light-footed crabs were greeting us. Small sandy areas with colorful iguanas and mockingbirds were overwhelming. The sounds of the warbler finches delighted us while the path lead us to the interior of the island.

Even though is the end of the albatross season, our enthusiastic explorers were committed to a long walk on the no so easy terrain. The effort paid off and we sighted few Galápagos hawk that were hunting in the area. Along the coastline, we also spotted blue-footed and Nazca boobies. Swallow tailed gulls were ready to leave their colonies for a night fishing journey while marine iguanas were staking each other on shore to stay warm for the long cold tropical night. Another astonishing day ended with a nice sunset and with our guest sharing the highlights of the day on the sundeck.

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About the Author

Greg Aranea

Naturalist

Greg was born in the large Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil. Shortly after his birth, his parents moved to the Galápagos in search of a better future for their family. Greg grew up in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, where his parents worked in the tourism industry.  His father often took Greg with him on the vessel he worked on and thus Greg was able to discover the wildlife and beauty of the Galápagos. This awoke in him a passion for nature from an early age.

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