Fernandina and Isabela Islands

Apr 29, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Our journey west, exploring the youngest islands of the archipelago, brings us to the massive shield volcano of Fernandina Island. There is only one land visitor site here, at Punta Espinoza, and this is where we proceed to land. Pacific green sea turtles and marine iguanas forage in the shallows as we encounter a land that appears prehistoric. Massive piles of marine iguanas warm themselves, preparing to become active and go out foraging for food, while Galapagos hawks soar overhead, looking for possible prey. This area truly gives us an idea of what it is like at the birth of an island, the arrival and establishment of new life on a somewhat barren area.

The afternoon takes us to northern Isabela, where half of a shield volcano disappeared into the ocean at some point in the past. Exploration presents us with Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, and blue-footed boobies diving. A wonderful ending to our day in these enchanted islands.

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About the Author

Jason Heilmann

Expedition Leader

Growing up in northern California, Jason was surrounded by the incomparable nature of the Pacific Northwest. While attending university there, Jason met and eventually married an Ecuadorian woman who happened to be from a small group of islands off the coast of western South America. It was thus that Jason’s path led him to Ecuador and, in time, to one of the most revered natural environments on earth, the Galápagos Islands.

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