Española Island

Jul 01, 2019 - National Geographic Islander

We started our day with a pre-breakfast kayak outing along the coast of Gardner bay on Española Island. Española is the oldest of all the islands in the Galapagos and many of the species inhabiting it are only found here, and nowhere else on the planet. While kayaking, we spotted a few Nazca boobies, as well as several Pacific green sea turtles popping their heads out of the water.

After breakfast, we suited up to practice our deep-water snorkeling skills. We had close encounters with young Galapagos sea lions and a large variety of fish. We then visited an extraordinary white sandy beach with turquoise waters and a large colony of sea lions resting on the shoreline. We had a blast swimming along this spectacular beach.

Later, National Geographic Islander repositioned to another visitor site on Española. This time we dropped anchor in Suarez Point. We were welcomed by colonies of colorful marine iguanas, Galapagos doves, Española mockingbirds and several curious sea lion pups. As we walked further inland, we encountered several mating pairs of waved albatrosses performing their courtship rituals just a few feet away from us! We also saw a Galapagos hawk in its nest, blue-footed boobies incubating their eggs, and a breathtaking landscape of rocky cliffs dotted with hundreds of Nazca boobies.

It was an incredible day filled with endemic species, excellent photography opportunities, and a golden sunset.

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About the Author

Jonathan Aguas

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jonathan was born into one of only a handful of families that reaches back five generations in Galápagos, in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island. He first left the islands when he won a highly-coveted scholarship to finish his studies in the U.S.  This was the start of his life-long passion for science and languages. He earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative biology from the University of Florida and later spent time in Europe, where he learned French. He is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

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