Genovesa (Tower) Island – Galapagos
A highlight of any visit to the Galapagos, a truly beautiful island thanks to the richness of its birdlife. The name is derived from Genoa, Italy, where it is said Columbus was born. Located in the northeast portion of Galapagos and the summit of a huge inactive undersea volcano, it has an area of 9 square miles and a maximum altitude of 250 feet. One of the most pristine in the archipelago due to its isolation, located as it is right in the northern extreme of the archipelago, Genovesa is an outpost for many seabirds (as is Española in the South). Interestingly there are no land reptiles here and only very small Marine Iguanas, due to direction of ocean currents which apparently would not have carried terrestrial animals here.
Genovesa – Darwin Bay
This bay is actually the caldera of an extinct, partially eroded volcano, with the surrounding cliffs forming the inner portion of the rim. You will land on a coral beach, and will immediately be struck by the amount of birdlife. The trail is loaded with Great Frigatebirds (mating season from February to May), Red-footed Boobies nesting in the mangroves, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Yellow-crowned Night Herons. Your trail takes you past a beautiful tide pool area where herons try to catch small fish.
Activities: Hike (0.9 mi / 1 ½ km), snorkelling, kayaking & dinghy ride
Type of Landing: Wet landing.
Highlights & Animals: Nazca Boobies, Red- footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach. Snorkelling: rays, colourful reef fish and hammerhead sharks
El Barranco or Prince Philip’s Steps
The tour begins with a great dinghy ride along the base of the cliffs where you see Red-billed Tropicbirds trying to make a precise landing in their nest. Squadrons of frigatebirds are seen flying back and forth, whilst Red-footed Boobies perch on branches of Palo Santo trees which seemingly grow out of the cliffs. Once you arrive on land and climb to the cliff-top, you enter an area where nesting Nazca Boobies and Great Frigatebirds are found. It is also a great place to see Galapagos Doves and Vampire Finches (Sharp-beaked Ground finches) …ask your guide for the full story on the name! You will also see a large colony of Storm Petrels which attracts Short-eared Owls, often observed stalking at these small sea birds, even during the day.
Activities: Hike (0.9 mi / 1 ½ km)
Type of Landing: Dry, difficult landing
Highlights & Animals: Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigatebirds, Short-eared Owls, storm petrels, Galapagos Doves, Darwin Finches.
- Baltra Island – Galapagos
- Bartolome Island – Galapagos
- Espanola (Hood) Island – Galapagos
- Fernandina Island – Galapagos
- Floreana Island – Galapagos
- Genovesa (Tower) Island – Galapagos
- Isabela Island – Galapagos
- Marchena Island – Galapagos
- Mosquera Islet – Galapagos
- North Seymour Island – Galapagos
- Rabida Island – Galapagos
- San Cristobal Island – Galapagos
- Santa Cruz Island – Galapagos
- Santa Fe Island – Galapagos
- Santiago (James) Island – Galapagos
- Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) – Galapagos
- South Plaza Island – Galapagos
- The Daphnes – Galapagos