Española: Gardner Bay & Punta Suárez

Aug 13, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Today we reached the oldest island of the archipelago, Española. Like San Cristobal, it also harbors a unique set of species that are endemic to Española. This includes the Española mocking bird, the Española lava lizard, and the Christmas iguana; a subspecies of marine iguana that is unique to Española. We also saw waved albatross that nest on Española and La Plata Island. These magnificent birds travel all the way to Peru to feed their chicks.

In the morning, we snorkeled around Gardner Islet and swam with sea lions. Later, we visited a beautiful sandy beach. In the afternoon we visited Punta Suarez, where many sea birds nest. We also observe several waved albatross chicks and adults in courtship.

Española never stops to amaze me, and it is a paradise for the observation of wildlife, particularly of sea birds.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza


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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