Española: Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez

May 07, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


Today the National Geographic Islander took us to Española, one of the oldest islands of the archipelago. Early in the morning, we anchored at Gardner Bay, in front of a beautiful sandy beach. While one group of guests went deep water snorkeling around Gardner Islet, another went to the beach where they were welcomed by a big group of Galápagos sea lions and the Española mockingbird.

Later, we enjoyed a wonderful Ecuadorian lunch while our ship repositioned to Punta Suarez. Lunch featured a great variety of traditional foods from both the coast and the Andes of this beautiful country, including ceviche, coconut fish, and suckling pig.

In the afternoon, we set foot on Punta Suarez, a paradise for observing seabirds. As we walked along the trail, we spotted Christmas iguanas, one of the seven subspecies of marine iguanas that exist in the archipelago, and one of the most colorful ones too. We then observed several waved albatrosses in flight. As we walked up the trail, we saw a few waved albatrosses, attempting to mate with the females that had just landed. And we spotted several nests and chicks of the Nazca booby, one of the three species of boobies that breed in the Galápagos.

Finally, the sunset at 6 p.m. was a perfect way to finish a wonderful day.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza

Naturalist

Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

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