Description of Española island
Española Island, also known as Hood Island, is located at the southernmost tip of the Galapagos archipelago, approximately 144 km from Santa Cruz Island. This island is considered one of the oldest in the Galapagos, and is home to a wide variety of unique species and natural habitats. The landscapes of Española Island are spectacular, with steep cliffs, rocky coves and white sand beaches. The island is also known for its arid environment, with little vegetation and black volcanic rock. It is also famous for its unique wildlife: it is home to a large population of short-tailed albatrosses, which nest and breed there. Visitors can observe these majestic birds during the breeding season, which runs from April to December. This island is also the only place in the archipelago where the Española mockingbird, a species of mockingbird endemic to the island, can be observed. Marine iguanas are also abundant on Española Island, and visitors can observe them as they bask in the sun on the coastal rocks. Visitors can also see colonies of sea lions, lava crabs, Galapagos turtles and many seabirds, such as frigate birds, blue-footed boobies and brown pelicans.
The main activities available on Española
- Gardner Bay: This bay is home to a large colony of sea lions, as well as marine iguanas, lava crabs and many marine birds. It is possible to swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the bay to observe the marine life. - Albatross Watching: Española Island is the only place in the archipelago where short-tailed albatrosses can be observed. Visitors can go to the Punta Suarez airstrip to observe these majestic birds during the breeding season, which runs from April to December. - Punta Suarez Hike: This hike of about 2.5 km takes in the spectacular scenery of the island, with steep cliffs, rocky coves and white sand beaches. Visitors can also observe a wide variety of sea birds, marine iguanas and sea lions. - Scuba and Surface Diving: The waters around Española Island offer an opportunity to discover the island's diverse marine life. It is possible to observe sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, sea lions and many other species.