Galapagos Marchena Island

At Marchena Island there aren't any visitor's sites, although it is possible to dive in the waters around it on organized tours.


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marchena island

Marchena has a caldera. This caldera is roughly elliptical and measures 7 km by 6 km, within the range of caldera sizes of the large western volcanoes.

Marchena's caldera is unusual, however, in that it has been almost completely filled with young lavas, some of which has spilled over and down the sides. The oldest lavas are considerd to be 500,000 years old.

Marchena is a beautiful and pristine Island located in the northern part of this Archipelago.

It has an area of 130 km2 and a maximum altitude of 343 meters. It is formed of a low shield volcano.

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The many young flows on Marchena Island testify to considerable volcanic activity in the recent geologic past, and the last known eruption occurred in 1992. Only 25% of the total land area is covered in vegetation.

Marchena is the seventh largest Island in Galapagos. It is also known as Bindloe Island and is off limits to visitors due to the sensitive nature of its environment.

However, there are a number of good scuba diving sites in the area around the Island, which make a boat trip out here definitely worthwhile.

There aren't any visitor's sites on this Island. Marchena is rather desolate and has no fresh water and hence has never been settled, and its flora and fauna have not been disturbed by introduced animals or plants.

This Island is rarely visited because it is off-limits to Galapagos Islands tourists. One of the best diving sites is Punta Espejo.

Here you might see cow-nosed rays, turtles, schooling hammerheads and schools of blue-striped snappers, grunts, surgeonfishes, spotted moray eels and scorpion fishes.

This Island was named after a Spanish monk, Fray Antonio Marchena, who was among the first to visit the Island, Marchena Island is home to a number of wildlife species.

Inhabited by the endemic Galapagos Hawk and colonies of sea lions, this Island also host to the endemic Marchena Lava Lizard.

Another reason why Isla Marchena is so famous is that though it is uninhabited, it was involved in the Floreana Island Mystery.

Here the dead bodies of Rudolf Lorenz and the captain of the ship he was on, disappeared mysteriously on the shore of this Island.

You will have the chance to see Marchena if you sail around the northern part of Isabela Island on the way to Tower Island, its nearest neighbor Island about 45 miles to the west.

Marchena Island is near Pinta Island in the north part of the Galapagos Archipelago.

It is the peak of a shield volcano with several small volcanic cones on its slopes and within the caldera. It is a geologically interesting Island yet the scenery is a bit desolate.

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Recommended Reading

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Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
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Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
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