Galapagos Fernandina Island

Galapagos Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine Islands in this beautiful Archipelago.


Fernandina also known as Narborough Island and has rare species of Galapagos flora and fauna. This Island is well known for its continuous volcanic activity.

Fernandina is just over 100,000 years old and is the youngest of the Galapagos Islands. Volcanically it is also the most active, with eruptions still occurring, the most recently eruptions occurred in 1988, 1991 and 1995.

The highest point is 4,900 feet. Its land area is 248 square miles. Fernandina Island has a single huge volcano, La Cumbre, which is still active.

In 1968 the central crater collapsed by 1,000 feet in a matter of days, causing earthquakes on Galapagos Fernandina Island.

Many of the lavas on Fernandina Island originate from circumferential fissures on the wide, flat bench surrounding the caldera or vents near the base. Others originate from vents aligned along radial fissures on the lower flanks.

Interestingly, there are few radial fissures in the summit area and few circumferential ones on the lower flanks. Most of the lavas are aa, as opposed to pahoehoe.

Pahoehoe lavas on Galapagos Fernandina Island are largely restricted to vents on the coast plain.

Its extremely difficult to walk on, making the climb to the summit of the Island a difficult one. Whether a lava flow forms pahoehoe or aa depends on flow rate.

The predominance of aa probably reflects a combination of steep slopes and high magma discharge rates.

Punta Espinosa Visitor Site

This visitor site is reached by a dry landing which is surrounded by mangroves.

The area of the site is mainly black lava and dark gray sand.

The lava is host to many clumps of lava cactus and there are a number of tidal rock pools in which turtles can often be seen.

Fernandina has not suffered as much from the presence of humans as other Islands, so the endemic wildlife is still abundant.

There is an extremely large colony of marine iguanas and it is occasionally difficult to walk along without the risk of treading on them.

You will find literally thousands of marine iguanas along the rocky coast, either sitting on a rock or swimming in the water in search of food.

These marine iguanas are the only lizards that are known to swim in the world.

Elegant and graceful swimmers, these algae eating iguanas are a sight to watch as the change color from a blackish green to amazing blues and reds during mating season.

On the shoreline are Sally Lightfoot crabs and sea lions. Sally Lightfoot crabs are found in abundance on Galapagos Fernandina Island.

These crabs are difficult to miss due to their bright and vivid colors.

Galapagos birds present include the flightless cormorant, pelicans, oystercatchers and blue herons and the yellow warbler.

You will also see Galapagos penguins throwing themselves off the rocks into the water... this is quite a view.

More About Galapagos

Galapagos Daphne Island

Galapagos Birding Activities

Galapagos Sailing

List of Galapagos Hotels

Economic Galapagos Trips

If you have questions about Galapagos Fernandina Island, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Section and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Land Tours to visit these Islands, You can Contact us here

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