Española Island

Jun 30, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Located at the Southeast of Galapagos, Española Island island is considered the oldest island of the archipelago with no active volcanoes, but with an exuberant fauna.

In the morning, the weather conditions were excellent for snorkeling and kayaking. With a brilliant sun and a warm ocean, our snorkelers had the opportunity to discover the incredible marine life, observing many different species of colorful fish and playful sea lions. Our kayaking outing was equally impressive, with blue-footed boobies and mockingbirds fluttering among the rocks, while in the water, colorful invertebrates such as sponges, barnacles and Sally Lightfoot crabs delighted our guests.

After the first activities, we headed to the white beach of Garner Bay. It was interesting to observe the tameness of the sea lions and their interaction with our guests who enjoyed taking pictures of them; we observed some lava lizards walking across the rock’s unresponsive sea lions trying to catch insects while blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, sea gulls, and finches flew about looking for their own meal.

It was 1 p.m. when we weighed anchor and started sailing to Punta Suarez at the western corner of the island. Two hours passed and we landed on a small dock heading inland to discover another face of the island. As soon we set foot on the island, we observed a juvenile Galapagos hawk on the top of the lighthouse next to the beach while dozens of marine iguanas warmed themselves on the rocks. Of course it was very sunny, but it wasn’t an impediment to our reaching the nesting regions of Nazca and blue-footed boobies. We observed many of them displaying their attractive courtship dances. Walking inland, we arrived at the waved albatross’ nesting area, observing many couples incubating their eggs, flying or performing an elaborate courtship dance before mating.

Just before the sunset, we returned to National Geographic Endeavour II, observing a flock of albatrosses floating on the ocean with the last beams of sun in the background, signaling the end of this beautiful day.

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About the Author

Paul Vergara

Naturalist

Paul grew up on the island of Floreana, one of the earliest islands of the Galápagos to have been inhabited, and one of Charles Darwin's centers of research. But just because Floreana has a long history of human settlements, does not mean that growing up there was a very modern experience. In the 1970s, there was neither electricity nor cars on the island. Not only that, but Paul and the rest of the inhabitants had to use donkeys for transportation, preserving their fish and meat using salt from the sea.

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