"Isla Española" Isla Española by MalenaN

Isla Española Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 204 photos

Isla Española is the southernmost island in the archipelago, situated about 90km southeast of Isla Santa Cruz. The island is small, around 61 sq km and it is one of the oldest islands. It was formed around 3.3 million years ago by volcanic activity, but it has since than moved away from the geological hot spot and there is no longer any volcanic activity on Isla Española. Isla Española is also called Hood.

Because of its remote location there are many endemic species and subspecies on Isla Española, like the Hood Mockingbird, the Lava Lizard and the Marin Iguana (which on Española has a red colouring, that becomes more green during breeding season). The population of Giant Tortoises on the island got almost extinct because of introduced goats and hunting. In the 1960s there were only 12 females and 2 males left, but thanks to a restoration program made by the Charles Darwin Research Station, 700 tortoises could be reintroduced on Isla Española in 1995.

There are two visitor sites on Isla Española. One is the long white sandy beach at Gardner Bay where you can see Sea Lions and Marin Iguanas, among other things. The other visitor site is Punta Suárez, a highlight because of its abundant wildlife. At Punta Suarez you can see the Waved Albatrosses and Blue-footed Boobies perform their courtship ritual. Something that is amazing to see! It is the only breeding site for the Waved Albatross and they can be seen around April - November.

Isla Española can now only be visited on cruise tours. I came here on the 4th day of the cruise with M/S Cachalote. We visited Gardner Bay in the morning. After visiting the beach for 2h we snorkelled at a small rocky island off shore. After lunch we navigated to Punta Suárez where we spent 3h walking the trail. Because there were so much to see we could easily have stayed longer, but it was getting dark so we had to return to the boat.

  • Last visit to Isla Española: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated May 28, 2012
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Reviews (16)

Comments (6)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Nature sure is unique and hopefully we keep it intact as best possible. Nice presentation

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      May 28, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Yes, the wildlife on Isla Española is amazing! Thanks for visiting Bruce!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Another wonderful page! Just love reading about all your adventures, about the wildlife and birdlife and viewing the lovely photo's you have taken.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Nov 10, 2012 at 11:24 PM

      Thank you Dee! Isla Española was a wonderful place to visit, and one of the highlights in Galapagos Islands.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    That’s an impressive video of the courtship ritual of the Waved Albatrosses. I suppose that’s the male on the left who makes those clacking noises with his bill several times.

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2012 at 2:25 AM

    Stunning pics (mostly the one of the iguanas)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    You should work for National Geographic! Awesome page!

  • Carguja's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    extraordinary place to visit

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