Española Island

Jul 16, 2018 - National Geographic Islander


It was our first full day of exploration on the islands. This island is the oldest of the group with so many things to see.

We started in the morning with a visit to a beautiful white sand beach with many sea lions and some birds. For some this was a chance to practice some snorkeling in shallow water. For those with more experience, there was a different area in deeper water with even more underwater life. Sea lions came to greet us with their amazing acrobatic show. Although they were the stars of the show, the other wildlife is no less important – their shapes, their colors and their rarity caught our attention, too. 

In the afternoon we navigated to another point on the same island called Punta Suarez, where amazing wildlife is encountered.

At the landing we found the spectacular marine iguanas in large groups basking in the sun. Sea lions were lying on the sand for their fishing breaks. Birds of all kinds nest here, the beautiful Nazca boobies, nocturnal swallow tailed gulls, and more.

The largest birds flying the Galapagos are the waved albatross, which are now here for their seasonal nesting period.

They were seen almost everywhere during our visit. At this time some of them had chicks while others were still sitting on the eggs. 

Majestic Galapagos hawks showed up to prove who’s in charge here. Mockingbirds came up to people for curiosity, crabs painted the rocks with their intense red orange color. All of this and more was recorded on our camera cards and in our brains for posterity. 

Great day at Española Island!

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About the Author

Patricio Maldonado

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Patricio, better known as Pato amongst his friends, was born in the Galápagos Island. His family moved to the islands from the mainland and settled on the island of Santa Cruz over thirty-five years ago. Pato had an enchanted childhood in the islands, where his keen interest in the wildlife of the Galápagos was born initially through catching lizards and observing how they lost their tails. His experiences in the islands have led him to teach visitors about the need to protect this rare and unique environment.

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