Hiking and Kayaking on Isla Española
Today takes you to Isla Española—the oldest and southernmost island within the archipelago. Its comparative isolation produced singular wildlife endemic only to Española, such as the Española Mockingbird, the Española lava lizard, the Española racer snake, and the waved albatross. With its unique endemic species and subspecies, Española (also known as Hood Island) embodies all that first caught Charles Darwin’s eye as well as the essence of the Galápagos.
Our first stop in the morning is Gardner Bay, where nearly all of the world’s population of waved albatross breed. We walk along stretches of white sand leading to cliffs and look out for the sea lions, Española Mockingbirds, and Green sea turtles that inhabit the surf. We also have time to hop in the kayaks to explore the cliff-lined bay or go snorkeling to see the sportive sea lions in their marine habitat.
After we finish our morning in the sun in Gardner Bay, we continue on to Osborn Islet just off Española. Osborn Islet is an excellent snorkeling site as parrot fish, butterfly fish, red-lipped bat fish, and more enjoy its placid waters. It’s a day of panga rides, snorkeling, and exploring the life of the littoral.
Our afternoon takes us back to mainland Española for a hike to Suárez Point. Swarms of sea lions await you upon landing, and we have time to watch them bask in the sun before continuing on a short trail leading to the site’s most famous attraction: a blowhole from which water surges high into the air. Blue-footed and Nazca boobies litter the region, and hopefully we can catch sight of waved albatrosses launching from their nests on the cliffs. As adolescent waved albatrosses can spend up to five years at sea after their first flight, it’s an incredible experience to witness their takeoff.
We wind down the day by returning to the catamaran, where you can lounge on the sun deck with a cocktail before dinner and watch the sun setting on the islands.
Wildlife Possibilities & Nature:
Common gallinules, flamingos, paint-billed crakes, white-cheeked pintails, sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, pintail ducks. Snorkeling – assortment of fish, sea lions, green sea turtles, sharks.