Top Places to Visit in Galapagos – Española

March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Gardner Bay

Our #5 pick for top places to visit in Galapagos is the island of Española. Located several hours south of San Cristobal Española is the oldest of the Galapagos Islands. Over the years its volcano has eroded and fertile soil now cover the island. These factors allow Española to have abundent plant and animal life.

Reachable only from a Galapagos Cruise, arriving on Española you will find two contrasting visitor sites the first Gardner Bay is a striking beach with soft, white sand much like baby powder. The beach is a favorite site for sea lions to nap the day away, sea turtles to lay their eggs and inquisitive Hood Mockingbirds greet you to beg for fresh water. The beach is one of the few free zones in Galapagos where you are free to roam around on your own without your guide. Gardner Bay is a favorite site for upclose photos with sea lions and snorkeling just off the beach.

The contrast to the powdery beach of Gardner Bay is the rocky landing at Punta Suarez. Arriving to Punta Suarez the panga takes you into a small lagoon where you will make the hop from the watercraft to the small cement dock surrounded by slippery rocks. Bright green and red marine iguanas lie along the path. There is a monument declaring the island part of the national park, which is a frequent perch for a Galapagos Hawk. Turning the corner you will pass a small sandy beach where yet more marine iguanas, sea lions and sally lightfoot crabs can all be seen.

The walk at Punta Suarez is one of the best in all of Galapagos. Along the cliff’s edge there is a breathtaking blow hole where you can spend your time gazing at the incredible Galapagos scenery.  What makes Española special is the plethora of wildlife here.  Along the walk you will see Galapagos doves, masked boobies, blue footed boobies, lava lizards, there are three types of Darwin’s Finches the large cactus finch, small ground finch and warbler finch all present in the area.  From April to December the Waved Albatross are present at Punta Suraez.  These amazing birds with wingspans of 7 to 8 feet can be seen running down the island than taking flight at the islands edge giving the region its name – the Albatross Airport.

For its contrasting visits and abundant wildlife Española is our #5 choice for top places to visit in the Galapagos.

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