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.


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

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 the Galapagos Islands, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our highly recommended Galapagos Island Tours to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here

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