Española: Gardner Bay & Punta Suárez

Apr 21, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II

Today National Geographic Endeavour II reached the oldest island of the archipelago, Española. Like San Cristobal, this island harbors a few endemics only found on Española. For example, today we observed the Española mockingbird, the Española lava lizard, and the Christmas iguana. We also saw waved albatross. These magnificent birds nest only on Española, and April is the month during which couples come to mate.

In the morning, we snorkeled around Gardner Islet and swam with sea lions, and afterwards, we visited a beautiful sandy beach. In the afternoon, we visited Punta Suarez, where many sea birds nest. We even observed a nest of the Galápagos hawk as we returned to our ship. Española never fails to amaze me—it is a paradise for the observation of wildlife.

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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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