"Home of the Waved Albatross" Isla Española by toonsarah

Isla Española Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 204 photos

Waved albatrosses

Española (English name Hood) lies in the far south east of the Galápagos Islands group and is fairly small. It has two very contrasting visitor sites ? the wide sandy expanse of Gardner Bay, and a rocky trail on the other side of the island, at Punta Suarez.

This was the eighth island we visited on our Galápagos cruise on the Angelito, spending a whole day here at two different visitor sites. It was one of the islands i had especially wanted to visit, and more than lived up to my expectations, giving me some of my most memorable Galápagos experiences.

In the morning of our visit we made a wet landing on the beach of Gardner Bay. This is one of the few places where it is permitted for visitors to wander without the close attendance of a guide, so Fabian left us largely to our own devices. We walked along the beach near the water?s edge, where a large number of sea lions had congregated. Several of the females had babies, mostly fairly young, and one little pup in particular took an especial interest in us.

Later in the morning we snorkelled here, and I got my closest view so far of a sea turtle, though I missed seeing the stingrays that some of the others spotted.

In the afternoon we landed on the other side of the island, at Punta Suarez. Here we did one of the longest, and certainly the hardest, of the week?s trails, 3 km in length and very rocky. But it was more than worth the effort involved, as it led to the world?s only Waved Albatross colony. These awesome birds nest nowhere else, and are only to be found on Española between late March and late December, so we felt really privileged to have seen them.

This is one 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 first landing.

And when you have finished your visit to Espanola, do continue to the next island on our itinerary, Santa Fe

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Don?t miss the chance to see the awesome Waved Albatrosses if you possibly can!
  • Last visit to Isla Española: Nov 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (9)

Comments (3)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Great that you had such a good look at the waved albatrosses on Española.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Mar 13, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      Thank you Don - they were magnificent, a real highlight of our trip!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2013 at 2:35 AM

    So cute little darlings!! I still remember that Disney (?) movie about albatrosses' flight attempts :-)

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Jan 27, 2013 at 2:47 AM

      Yes, they do look quite comical don't they? Until they're in flight that is - once they are flying they are awesome!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    Isla Española was my favourite island when visiting Galapagos! And as your group we took our time at Punta Suarez and had to hurry up in the end to leave the island before it got dark.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 28, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      I imagine that most people find it hard to hurry here - there's so much to see!


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