Fernandina Island Galapagos
Animals Regularly Seen: Marine Iguanas, California Sea Lions, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Hawks, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Lava Herons, Yellow-crowned night-herons, Great Blue Herons
Animals occasionally or seasonally seen: Feeding frenzy of Blue Footed Boobies, Whales and Dolphins, Galapagos penguins
Animals rarely seen: Fernandina Rice Rat
Outstanding characteristics: Sporadic volcanic activity, volcanic landscape, penguins, flightless cormorants, abundant marine iguanas and a colony of lava cacti.
Vegetation: The predominant vegetation in the Arid Zone is concentrated in “kipunkas” (small areas left untouched by recent lava). The southern and eastern summit has vegetation of the Humid zone. Near the coast there are extensive mangrove concentrations.
Geology: Consists of a central volcano and calderas, numerous parasitic cones on the flanks, extensive lava fields and a few vegetated areas. It is one of the youngest volcanoes of the archipelago and the world.
Fernandina Island is the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos which we visit on all our Galapagos cruises. It sits across the Bolivar Channel opposite to Isabela Island. The only visitor site is Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land in the northeast corner of the island, where a number of unique Galapagos species can be seen in close proximity. As the panga driver skillfully navigates the reef it is not unusual to see penguins swimming nearby the dinghy. Red and turquoise-blue zayapas (Sally lighfoot) crabs disperse across the lava shoreline, while herons and egrets forage among the mangrove roots.