"Our first Galápagos island experience" Isla Seymour by toonsarah

Isla Seymour Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 86 photos

Young sea lion pup and mother, North Seymour

North Seymour is one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos archipelago, less than 2 square kilometres. It is rather flat and was created by an uplift of land rather than, like many of the larger islands, being the eroded top of a volcano. The landing here is a dry one, on lava rocks dotted with crabs. The loop trail of about 1.5 kilometres is flat but rocky in places.

This was the first island we visited on our Galápagos cruise on the Angelito, on the afternoon of our arrival day. Many cruises do this, as it is very near Baltra where most tourist flights arrive. And it’s a great introduction to the Galápagos!

North Seymour is quite arid, and the plant-life here includes the incense tree, yellow cordia and the Opuntia or prickly pear, one of three main cactus species found in the Galápagos . On the rocky shore where we landed we saw, in addition to the crabs, marine iguanas and lava lizards – our first sightings of both of these. The trail then took us first through an area where Blue-footed Boobies nested, and also Magnificent Frigatebirds. Other birds seen on the trail included Galápagos doves and gulls, and we also saw some land iguanas here.

Our guide Fabian allowed us plenty of time to enjoy the walk, never rushing us on, so we spent about three hours in total on this trail. We were to find that this would be the pattern everywhere we went, but on this first occasion I was very impressed that the emphasis was so much on discovery rather than covering the ground quickly, and that we had more than enough time both to take photos and also to relax and enjoy being with the animals.

Later the trail emerged onto the beach, and we spent some time here, photographing the sea lions and discovering just how close we could get to them! As we did so the sun started to sink and we enjoyed some beautiful light for these last photos, and a lovely sunset over the neighbouring island of Daphne Major. What a wonderful start to our explorations!

This is the first of a series of pages about the various islands we visited on our Galápagos cruise. In those individual island pages I aim to describe in more detail what we did on each island, the environment and landscape, and the wildlife to be found there. But for detailed descriptions of the animals and plants etc I have included links to my main Galápagos page, rather than repeat myself too much here.

To follow our trail here as we experienced it, please read my tips in order, starting with our landing.

And when you have finished your visit to North Seymour, do continue to the next island on our itinerary, Sombrero Chino

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:A wonderful introduction to the Galápagos!
  • Last visit to Isla Seymour: Nov 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (5)

Comments (4)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Wow! Wonderful photos, especially of the Frigate Bird. A great start to your holiday.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Jan 10, 2013 at 4:07 AM

      It was a wonderful start! I couldn't believe how close we were getting to these fantastic birds :-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2012 at 1:55 AM


  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    That is a great first place to visit on a Galapagos Cruise! It is very good that the guides don't rush the groups but that the walk is done with plenty of time to explore.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 20, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      Thank you for visiting my new little pages Malena :-) One person in our group had been working for some time in the Galapagos (doing research) and she had spent some time of one of the big cruise ships. She said that those guides did take less time - partly because another group from the ship was always just a little bit behind them, and partly because those travelling on such ships had less interest in all the details of the wildlife and geology etc, and more interest in getting back on board for a cocktail! I'm not sure the latter is true of all of them, but the first point makes sense. I'm so glad we went on a little boat like the Angelito :-)

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Dec 20, 2012 at 2:03 AM

      I'm glad I went on a small boat too. I wouldn't like to be on one of those big ships. We were only eight tourists in our group so we could always go together in one panga and we always had plenty of time at each visitor site and while snorkelling.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    A brilliant new page on North Seymour! I found the story of the land iguanas particularly fascinating.


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 4

Badges & Stats in Isla Seymour

  • 5 Reviews
  • 21 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 282PageViews

Have you been to Isla Seymour?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (12)