ESPAÑOLA ISLAND DAY TOUR

Land of the albatross


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On the outer southern east corner of the archipelago is situated the birds and oldest (about 4,5 million years old) island. Española is probably home of the ancestors of the species that now populate other islands. Its area is 60 sq km (37 sq mi), its high point is found at 206m (675 ft). It is home of the Mockingbird, waved albatross, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies. Also, sea lion colonies and land and hybrid iguanas make the island one of the most specials. Thanks to the cold waters from the Humboldt current and the upwelling created on its flow, Waved Albatross nests on the flat grounds of the island. The Española giant tortoise species was rescued from extinction, scientists and resource managers at the Charles Darwin Foundation and Galápagos National Park have released nearly 2,000 young tortoises on Española. One of the highlights to visit is Punta Suarez bay which has an amazing variety of wildlife including the lazy sea lions at the rocky landing site, forcing visitors to surround them to get the trial. Visitors enjoy walking among Galápagos hawks, Española mockingbirds, Darwin´s finches, and Galápagos Dove all fly around. Another jewel to journey is Gardener Bay beach, it is recommended for snorkelers, specially around the small semi submerged tuff cone located in front of the beach, it is possible to swim next to the sea lions, reef white-tipped sharks, rays, and variety of colorful reef fish.

Itinerary

Departure: at 6:30 am from Baquerizo Moreno Pier

Returning time: approximately at 5:00 pm

Travel Time: speed boat ride takes around 2.5 hours (August – October the seas can be quite rough). Adventurers with back or neck injuries are not advised to take this journey.

Difficulty Level: intermediate

Highlight activity: walking and snorkeling

Transportation: speed boat

Description

The day starts early in the morning at the Baquerizo Moreno Dock. Our guests will be assisted by the bilingual naturalist guide on the whole length of the day tour activities. After a navigation of approximately 2.5 hours the boat will arrive at Española Island. This place is considered the crown jewel of the Galapagos archipelago. Española Island is located at the south side of the archipelago, 22 miles from San Cristobal Island. Here, our adventurers are going to be amazed by Punta Suarez and Gardner Isle. At Punta Suarez, which is located in the northeast of Española, excursionists are going to watch the nesting colonies of Nazca boobies and the famous blue-footed boobies, Galápagos hawks, Española mockingbirds, three species of Darwin´s finches, and Galápagos doves. Swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds dash in and out of the cracks in the cliffs. Between April and December, travelers can visit an interesting population of waved albatross (one of the rarest birds in the world), as Española is their one and only nesting area. There is also possible to watch sea lions and marine iguanas. Meanwhile, our guests have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing landscape of the cliffs and the blow hole. Because this side of the island is a rocky terrain, travelers have to take extra care and wear closed toe shoes (no sandals). Later on, our adventurers will move to Gardner Islet where the bay offers on of the best beaches to experience in the Galápagos. Three species of Darwin´s finches and Española mockingbirds may be seen at this site. Española mockingbirds are fearless and frequently land on visitors´ heads and shoulders in search for food. It is also possible to snorkel among playful sea lions and be astonished by the colorful fishes of the bay. Travelers will refresh themselves while enjoying a delicious snack. Then, our adventurers will get the succulent lunch. After all, boat will journey back to San Cristobal. It is recommended to wear a wetsuit in order to neutralize the sea temperature because it falls under 20ºC from September to December and it is up of 27ºC from January to August.

Includes

-Box lunch (aboard)

-Naturalist Tour Guide accredited by Galápagos National Park

-Purified water

-Snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, and fins)

-Comfortable speed boat

Does not include

-Wetsuit (available at an extra charge)

-Tips

Important note

-Always take with you sun screen, repellent, non-slippery shoes, water proof jacket, hat, and camera.

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