Espanola Island

Jun 17, 2019 - National Geographic Islander


Today was our first full day in the Galapagos Islands. We started on Espanola, one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos Archipelago, dating around 3.4 million years old. Espanola Island is home to different endemic species such as the Espanola mockingbird, Espanola marine iguana, hood racer snake, hood lava lizard, and the waved albatross.

In the morning, we snorkeled and had close encounters with Galapagos sea lions and the underwater world of Espanola. Then we headed back to the ship for a very special lunch. Today we had an Ecuadorian feast, and guests had the opportunity to try food from all over the four regions of Ecuador.

After lunch we landed at Punta Suarez, a major nesting site for the waved albatross on Espanola Island. These birds have just returned from their migration. Now, they will nest on the island and raise their chicks until December, when they then fly back to South American waters to find fish.

The day ended with a beautiful sunset as we rode our Zodiacs back to National Geographic Islander. Today’s experience will stay with our guests forever.

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About the Author

Gianna Haro

Naturalist

Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

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