Espanola Island in Galapagos

Galapagos Espanola Island is located to the South of the Archipelago.

This Island has a unique fauna and birdwatching the waved albatrosses among other rare birds is one of the greatest attractions.


There are two visitor sites on the Island of Espanola:

Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay.


You will make a dry landing. This visitor site lies at the west end of the Island. The tourist trail is about 2 km long and leads from one end of the Island to the other while revealing the spectacular bird life.

Punta Suarez has the highest rate of endemism of all visitor sites in Espanola Island.

Sea lions, hawks, mockingbirds, blue-footed and masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, waved albatross, doves, Sally Lightfoot crabs, lava lizards and marine iguanas can all be seen here.

Between April and November, you can witness the unique mating rituals of the waved albatross and blue-footed boobies.

There are hundreds of blue footed boobies nesting all around, so you have to take care not to step on one of their nests.

You can observe red green marine iguanas that are basking in the sun or the buzzards in the top of the trees.

Punta Suarez is considered to be among the best tourist spots in the Galapagos Islands.


Is located on the northwestern side of the Island, is a white sand paradise. It is a tourist favorite for swimming and snorkeling.

You will see dozens of sea lions at this pristine beach. Divided into two sections by an outcropping of lava rock, the long, open shoreline is one of the few places in Galapagos that is completely safe to explore without a guide (although park regulations require your guide to stay nearby).

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Gardner Bay is an excellent spot for snorkeling, however, you can have a better snorkeling experience off Gardner Islet and Tortuga Rock, the islet in the distance has the shape of a turtle.

Delight yourself with sea turtles, stingrays, colorful parrot-fish and many more marine species.

Gardner Bay is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of Espanola Island. If you visit this Island between October and December, you will find Green Sea Turtles mating just off shore.

The Island of Espanola is a fantastic place for birdwatching, this Island is home to the famed and endemic Waved Albatross, considered to be among the most spectacular birds in the world.

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Worth visiting between the months of March to December, when the Waved Albatross rests and nests here, this Island is just 61 square km in size.

The English name for Espanola Island is Hood Island after Viscount Samuel Hood. It is located in the extreme southeast of the Galapagos Archipelago and is considered, along with Santa Fe Island, one of the oldest Islands in Galapagos.

Espanola's remote location helped make it a unique jewel with a large number of endemic creatures. Separated from the other Islands, wildlife on Espanola Island adapted to its environment and natural resources.

The subspecies of Marine iguana from Espanola are the only ones that change color during breeding season.

The geography of Espanola Island is a classic example of a shield volcano, created from a single caldera in the center of the Island.

Over the years as the Island has moved further away from the hot spot, the volcano became extinct and erosion began to occur.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!

There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.


Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. Click to order from Amazon

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.

Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.

Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!


Moon Spotlight Galapagos. Click to order from Amazon

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.

But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.

Small, well-priced, and reliable!


Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.

This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


If you have questions about Espanola Island or if you'd like to request more information about our Economic Galapagos Tours to visit and explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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