Fernandina Island, one of the Galapagos Islands, has become a huge tourist attraction in recent years and it’s not difficult to understand why. It’s cradled by natural beauty at its best and remains the largest pristine island in the archipelago. That in itself is a big temptation for tourists from all over the world coming here. But that’s not all; there are many secrets this place holds in its bosom and its surroundings are breathtaking, to say the least. And since it remains a source for many activities that travelers enjoy, it holds a magical charm over them.
What does the Island have in store for travelers?
Also referred to by its English name, Narborough, this is the youngest of Islands in the area. So much so that the La Cumbre volcano last erupted only a couple of years ago. It is also the third largest in size in the archipelago and one of the major highlights of this place is that there are no non-native species that were introduced here. Thus it remains pristinely beautiful, holding its natural charm intact, which always hits the right spot with travelers.
The volcano has been known to erupt every few years and can reach up to heights of 1400 meters. It has the peculiar inverted soup bowl shape that’s also seen on Isabela volcanoes, not far from here. This volcano is responsible for the interesting landscape of the place, which clearly has its own inherent character. Little wonder then that travelers who love to make the most of gems of nature, visit this place ever so often.
Stunning wildlife remains one of the major highlights.
This place has managed to keep its natural habitat preserved to a great extent and has escaped unscathed from human influences so far. There are no introduced species, but there are many animals from land and marine iguanas, sea lions, hawks, and tortoises, that add to the attraction. If you are a wildlife lover you are in for a special treat when you come here and spend your day bird watching to your heart’s fill. And there’s, of course, the Flightless Cormorant and spotting it will make your day.
There is no dearth of activities one can do here; from hiking to scuba diving and snorkeling. The area is known to be a whale sanctuary, so you can look out for pilot whales or Bryde’s whales and bottlenose dolphins too.
Fernandina has many surprises for travelers who just don’t seem to have enough of it.
- Landing: Wet Landing
- Wildlife Highlights: Galapagos hawks, Galapagos penguins marine iguanas, sea lions, flightless cormorant
- Activity Highlights: Hiking, birdwatching, snorkeling and scuba diving.
- Conditions: Beach landing, lava and rough terrain on trails, flat ground hikes.
- Notes: This is one of the best places to observe the flightless cormorant, one of the unique species in the Galapagos Islands.
Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos. Punta Espinosa is a narrow Galapagos Pinguinsstretch of land where some of the unique Galapagos species can be seen. While the panga driver skillfully eludes the reef to reach the landing site near a small mangrove forest, penguins throw themselves off the rocks into the water. Sally Lightfoot crabs disperse on the lava near the shore and herons and sandpipers explore the mangrove roots. Marine iguanas conglomerate in larger groups than in any other island. They are everywhere: basking in the sand, swimming near the shore, grazing on the exposed seaweed in the lava and blocking the way at the landing dock. This is one of the few places where there is the opportunity, of watching the iguanas feed underwater.
Fernandina is one of the only places to enjoy the flightless cormorant! Don’t miss out if you have the opportunity to see this natural phenomenon.