Española Island, Gardner Islet, Punta Suarez
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 23 Aug 2021

Española Island, Gardner Islet, Punta Suarez, 8/23/2021, National Geographic Islander

  • Aboard the National Geographic Islander
  • Galápagos

Española Island is a true jewel in the crown of this magical archipelago. Española Island, located on the southeastern corner of the archipelago, is one of the most spectacular islands in the Galapagos archipelago. It is not only one of the oldest, geologically speaking, but it also has one the highest rates of endemism in Galapagos.

The island is an old shield volcano that is slowly drifting over 200 km (125 miles) from its birthplace. Moving on top of the Nazca Plate, it has drifted so far from its birthplace that it has effectively lost all influence of the Galapagos Hotspot, the life force that fuels most volcanic activity in this group of islands.

During the morning, we explored the northeastern end of the island at Gardner Bay and the nearby Gardner Islet. We started our day with an optional kayak outing around Gardner Bay. Later on, we snorkeled with sea lions and large schools of fish. At the end of the morning, we had a relaxed walk along the beach of Gardner Bay, where several sea lions played with us and gave us many photo opportunities. For lunch, we had an amazing Ecuadorian buffet.

In the afternoon, we explored Punta Suarez, one of the most extraordinary visitors’ sites of the islands. Here we observed and were mesmerized by the abundance of wildlife. Hundreds of marine iguanas, beautiful waved albatross, Galapagos sea lions, Española lava lizards, mockingbirds, and two species of boobies. It was an awesome day!

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