Galapagos Cruise Report: Española Island

From the National Geographic Islander in Galápagos, June 12, 2010

This was our last day in paradise and we offered a full day of activities from the early hours to very late in the afternoon.

Our pre-breakfast kayaking activity along the coast line of Gardner Islet was impressive: marine birds, sea lions, land birds and a beautiful landscape were there for the delight of our most adventurous dear guests. After breakfast our last water activity was offered in the same place. This islet off the coast of Española is a good place for swimming with Galápagos sea lions, and this morning was no exception because ten sea lion pups came to play with all us.

After this phenomenal experience in the water we disembarked on a pure white sandy beach. This location is one of the best in the Enchanted Islands because you can walk for over a mile along a beach covered with pup and mum sea lions. Without a doubt this is also the best place for photographing these curious marine mammals.

Our very last activity took place at Punta Suarez on Española Island. This extinct volcano is one of the oldest geological formations in the area, and that explain why most of its fauna is found here and nowhere else on the planet. This is a good example of adaptive radiation in oceanic islands.

Lava lizards, albatrosses, mockingbirds, marine iguanas, land snakes, blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies and finches were there at their best.

You may leave this lost paradise, but these unique creatures will never leave you.

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