At the Southeastern tip of Galápagos, uninhabited by humans, Española is a sanctuary for birds, paradise for birdwatchers and the only breeding spot for the Galápagos waved albatross. The island’s terrain is rocky, with small elevations and dry vegetation.
Because there is no place to stay in Española, a day trip is the way to explore the island. It is located approx 2 hours away from San Cristobal.
Did you know? Española’s English name is “Hood” Island.
What to do:
Gardner Bay: On the Eastern front of the island, Garden Bay is a beautiful beach with white sandy shores. This site is known for its spectacular flora and fauna, which includes colonies of sea lions, colorful coral fish, white tipped sharks, rays, herons, and albatross (it’s a breeding site!). Enjoy a morning of snorkelling, kayaking and short hikes to the nearby cliffs. Or just lay down by the beach and relax, basking in what seems to be paradise. PS: Prepare for a wet landing.
Punta Suárez: Española’s rocky terrain contrasts with the turquoise waters below, and there is no better place to admire this unreal sight than at the edge of a cliff. Its high cliffs and blowholes make Punta Suárez one of our favorite spots in the island. Sit back and contemplate the landscape, feel the mist of salt water being ejected to the air by blowholes, and if you’re a birdwatcher, look around to find colonies of sea birds, nazca and blue footed boobies, herons and even hawks. Bring along your camera, you’re going to want to capture this!
There is a 2 hour tour, that takes you hiking across the island, passing nests, birds, and marine iguanas.
What to see:
Wildlife– Waved albatrosses, nazca boobies, blue footed boobies, gulls, lava lizards, land iguanas, marine iguanas, Galápagos hawk, herons.
From April to December, around 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatross come to Española to nest. The best part? The waved albatross has an interesting mating ritual you might be able to witness. During breeding season, albatrosses engage in the courtship dance. Clacking, stomping, and waddling become part of a ritual to attract their lifelong mate.
Sadly, the Galápagos Albatross is labeled as a UICN Critically Endangered species due to fishing activities, contaminated waters and rising temperatures as a result of global warming.
Inspiring Sights– Blowholes, rocky terrain, iguanas sulking in the sun.
What to take: water bottle, walking shoes, camera, bathing suit, sunblock (please use cream instead of spray to protect air quality for the birds!).
Day Trip Cost from San Cristobal: aprox $200 – 250.
*We highly recommend visit Galapagos Island in a cruise, where a visit to Española is part of the itinerary and included in the cost.