Española Island

Apr 22, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II

On our first full day of exploration in Galapagos, we started on Española Island, also known as Hood Island. Española has its own special magic, being the oldest. For 3.4 million years, it has been a natural laboratory for evolution and is home to various endemic species such as the Hood mockingbird, the Hood lava lizard and the most colorful marine iguanas in the archipelago. 

The day started at beautiful Gardner Bay with a sunrise that took our breath away, with cotton-candy clouds and the ocean calm as a cup of tea. The morning was filled with water activities starting with kayaking and then snorkeling at Gardner Islet. It ended at a flawless white sand beach, home to a colony of Galapagos sea lions. In the afternoon, we disembarked at Punta Suarez where we hiked along sea bird and marine iguana territory. One of the highlights of the hike was witnessing the laying of an a waved albatross egg, something very rare to see.

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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. 

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