The day tour to Española island is one of the top Galapagos experiences. For years a visit to this unique Galapagos park site has been limited to liveaboard cruise travelers. Now in 2021 and beyond you can take a day tour from San Cristobal island and encounter the unique wildlife found on the trail that starts at Punta Suarez disembarking point.
- Every Saturday: 07h30-16h30/17h00
- Embarking Port =San Cristobal Island
- Navigation = 2h5 hour approx. (one way)
- Visit Place = Punta Suarez & Gardner Islet
- Snorkeling Place = Gardner Islet
Meet at the docks of San Cristobal island and board your day trip boat. After a safety briefing and the Captain's welcome speach you will depart for a 2h15 minute navigation to the Southern Island of Española.
Upon arrival at Punta Suarez, your tour guide will lead you along this moderate hiking trail and point out masked (Nazca) boobies nesting sites, you will be able to spot tghe colorful marine iguanas that turn green and orange (males) during their nesting season. Further along the trail we will reach the nesting grounds of the waved albatross, here we will be able to observe their unique courtship dance - beak rubbing and wing flapping as they wallow in circles. The highlight of this path for many is the Alabatross airport. It is called this ways since this is where these birds learn to fly, juveniles run towards the cliff and take a death daring dive and when it seems they will crash into the rocks they take off graciously over the oceanscape. The cliffs and rocky shores are home to tropic birds, more nesting Nazca gannets and as you complete the loop you will pass the famous blow hole, a connection with the tides that splurts ocean water about 40 feet above the ground every few minutes or so. The waves are strong at this site, although there are no human surfers you can spot sea lions cathcing the tide and spinning, jumping and waverunning as if they were expecting you to film them. One of the best nature hikes in the archipelago and now available for hotel based travelers.
After visiting the amazing Punta Suarez day tour travelers will board their boat once again and head towards turtle islet within gardner bay. This is a beautiful site, no landing on the beach...but some amazing snorkeling and scuba diving oportunities can be enjoyed here. The waters that surround this Española island bay are frequented by playful sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays, colorful fish and white tipped reef sharks - all these are favourite sightings for snorkelers. Scuba divers explore deeper waters and can spot other marine wonders.
Travelers have the choice of enjoying a land visit of Española Island and a snorkeling excursion in the bay or exchanging scuba diving for snorkeling (a small surcharge is required).
Passengers need to wear comfortable hiking shoes to explore the rocky terrain of the island. Lunch is served on board. This is a full day tour and lasts around 8 hours. It takes about 2 1/2 hours navigating each way from San Cristobal island to Española, depending on the tides. The day tours to Española are limited to local operations and you will be supporting small tour operations and family run boats, since it's inception this tour has enticed visitors to make base at San Cristobal island hotels to enjoy this wonderful site without having to take a liveaboard cruise.
Our insider tip is to charter one of the day tour yachts so you can have the ultimate privacy and personalized service for you and your family or group of friends.
Multiple day Galapagos tour packages
that include this day tour are available.