Daniel Moreano, Expedition Leader
6th January to 9th January 2017
On board the Yacht La Pinta today we visit Española Island. It is considered one of the oldest islands of the Galapagos archipelago.
This island is near sea level, and that is why Española Island is dry and arid. On this island it’s very common to find a high level of endemicity present. This means that much of its flora and fauna is unique to the Española Island; this means that there is flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
An Expedition into Nature on Española Island
Our visit began at 08:30 in the morning. At the beginning of our tour we were impressed with the number of sea lions that were along its coast. The name of the visiting site is Punta Suarez, this site is an iconic location in the archipelago due to its great biodiversity. We could see the different breeding colonies of sea lions, observing them as they moved up and down along the coast. Every step we took, we had to be careful not to step on a marine iguana.
Marine iguanas are unique to the Galapagos Islands. These animals are distinguished by their ability to go underwater and feed themselves from the algae that grows on the rocks. They can submerge themselves at depths of up to 15 meters and stay underwater for up to an hour. The male marine iguanas are larger than the females. The males perform the deepest dives, while females and babies are restricted to shallower waters.
Our guests were fascinated by this visit, they could not believe they were walking between a breeding colony of Galapagos sea lions, and watching the marine iguanas cover the rocks like some kind of savannah. And that was just the beginning of the walk. As we progressed on our tour the experience got even better.
We arrived near a ravine and were impressed by the remarkable amount of Nazca boobies we could see. These seabirds almost always nest near the cliffs, as it is easier for them to takeoff from this location.
They only have to jump off the cliff and then let themselves be lifted upwards by the current of air. Suddenly we reached the point known as The Blowhole. It can be observed from a natural viewpoint, as the waves of the sea hit the coast and the water is forced into a fissure with such force that trapped air is injected with pressure, which causes the water to rise several meters into the air. The actual height depends on the force with which the waves hit the rocks.
On their way back, guests begin to comment on their experience on Española Island. The experience of being in a place so remote and with a diversity of species that are not afraid of being human has made them feel more connected with nature.
Check out our Eastern Islands Itinerary for opportunities to visit this amazing island!