Isabela and Fernandina Islands

Feb 19, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

Today National Geographic Islander sailed to the western part of the archipelago. Early in the morning, at around 8:30 a.m., we crossed the equator as we navigated around Ecuador Volcano, one of the six volcanoes that emerged independently to form Isabela, the largest island of the Galapagos.

Later in the morning, we snorkeled around Punta Vicente Roca. The conditions were ideal and the visibility was perfect to spot dozens of green sea turtles, flightless cormorants, a few Galapagos penguins, sea lions, and fur seals.

In the afternoon we sailed to Fernandina Island, the baby of the Galapagos Islands. The last eruption happened in September 2017. At Punta Espinosa, we saw dozens of marine iguanas basking. In addition, several females were fighting for access to nesting sites. We also observed a Galapagos hawk feeding on a female marine iguana that was a little too busy digging her nest: a clear and vibrant reminder that nature does not hold back for guests at the Galapagos!

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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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