Isla Genovesa Travel Guide

  • Red-footed Booby chick
    Red-footed Booby chick
    by toonsarah
  • Great Frigatebirds at Darwin Bay
    Great Frigatebirds at Darwin Bay
    by MalenaN
  • Boats anchored in Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa
    Boats anchored in Darwin Bay, Isla...
    by MalenaN

Isla Genovesa Things to Do

  • Darwin Bay – on the beach

    In the morning of our visit to Genovesa we had a wet landing on the white sand of Darwin Bay, at the heart of the caldera. The 750m trail, rated as easy / moderate, starts on the beach and is at first sandy and later over rocky lava. Near the start, on the cliffs lining the beach, we saw Swallow-tailed gulls nesting, some with chicks. We were...

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  • Darwin Bay – among the mangroves

    After taking our photos on the beach we headed away from it to walk among the red mangrove and palo santo trees, in every one of which (or so it seemed to me) several Red-footed Boobies were nesting, and (again, so it seemed) posing for our cameras. Many of them had soft fluffy white chicks, and they seemed to be among the least fearful of all the...

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  • Darwin Bay – the tide pools

    Behind the beach at Darwin Bay, the trail through the mangrove trees is interspersed with more open stretches beside a series of sheltered tide pools set into a rocky outcrop. The trail winds in and out of the trees, and the stretches in this more open environment offer opportunities to see some different species. Among these we saw several...

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  • Prince Philip Steps – the Palo Santo...

    Prince Philip Steps take their name from the visit by Britain’s Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, in the 1960s. They are also known by the Spanish name of El Barranco. Once at the top of the steps you are at the start of a 2 km trail, rated as moderate. It passes at first through a Palo Santo forest typical of the arid zone of the...

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  • Prince Philip Steps – the lava field

    As we emerged from the trail through the Palo Santo forest on Genovesa we found ourselves on a more open plateau. This is a broad lava field that stretches towards the north shore of the island. Here we saw more Nazca Boobies nesting, mainly still quite close to the trees. We also saw an adult Great Frigatebird in one of the trees on the edge of...

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  • El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps)

    In the morning after breakfast we took the panga from Cachalote to visit El Barranco, where there is a dry landing at the base of the steep cliff. A stairway with railing take you up on the cliff edge. Here a 1.5km long trail begins and first it passes through dry forest vegetation with Palo Santo trees. In this area there is an abundance of...

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  • Darwin Bay

    In the afternoon we visited the second visitor site on Isla Genovesa. It is called Darwin Bay, and here there is a wet landing on a small white coral beach. On the cliffs above the beach there are some graffiti made by visitors long ago. We walked the trail, which is around 1.5km long, up on a cliff edge and back. First we followed the beach to...

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  • Nazca Boobies

    Nazca BoobiesThe Nazca Booby (Sula granti) used to be seen as a subspecies of the Masked Booby, but it is now known that it is a species of its own. In Galapagos Islands the Nazca Boobies are quite common with a population of between 25 000 - 50 000 pairs, spread out in different colonies. With a length of 81-92cm the Nazca Boobies are the largest...

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  • Frigatebirds

    There are two species of frigatebirds in the Galapagos Islands, the Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) and the Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor). There are about 1000 pairs of the Magnificent Frigatebird spread in 12 colonies, and a few thousand pairs of the Great Frigatebird, also in 12 colonies.The frigatebirds are large seabirds with...

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  • Red-footed Boobies

    The Red-footed Boobies (Sula sula) are the most numerous of boobies in the Galapagos Islands. There are around 250 000 pairs, and as much as 140 000 of those pairs can be found in the world’s largest Red-footed Booby colony at Isla Genovesa. Even though they are common they are rarely seen in other areas than where they breed. They breed on Isla...

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  • Marine Iguanas

    One of the highlights of Galapagos Islands is to see the amazing Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus). They are endemic to the islands and they are also the only lizards in the word that swim in the sea. The Marine Iguanas spend most of their time on land, but they feed on algae and seaweed. There are seven subspecies of Marine Iguanas in the...

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  • Yellow-crowned Night-heron

    The Yellow-crowned Night-heron in the Galapagos Islands is an endemic subspecies, Nycticorax violaceus pauper. I saw juvenile and immature Yellow-crowned Night-herons during my visit to the Galapagos Islands, but I didn’t see an adult one. The juveniles have a dark brown plumage with white or buff spots and streaks . As it becomes older the spots...

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  • Swallow-tailed Gull

    The Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus) is endemic to Galapagos Islands, well almost endemic, as there is a small colony on the Colombian island Malpelo too. The population of Swallow-tailed Gull in the Galapagos Islands consists of 10000 - 15000 pairs, spread in 50 breeding colonies throughout the islands (but not on Fernandina and the west...

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  • Lava Gull

    The Lava Gull (Larus fuliginous) is endemic to the Galapagos Islands and it is considered to be one of the rarest gulls in the word as there are only about 400 pairs of them. In the Galapagos Islands they are widely distributed and can be seen on many islands. The Lava Gulls have a dark grey plumage, with a paler belly. The head, bill and legs are...

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  • Red-billed Tropicbird

    The Red-billed Tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) are beautiful seabirds with a long narrow tail. They are around 50cm long plus another 50 cm with the tail feathers. Their plumage is white with some grey barring on the back. The primary feathers are black, which can be seen when they fly. Over the eyes there is a black mask. They have a bright red...

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  • Storm Petrels

    On Isla Genovesa, on the south side, at El Barranco the air was full of fast flying Storm Petrels flying back and forth. There are eight species of Storm Petrels recorded in the Galapagos Islands, three of them are resident, one is migrant and four are vagrants. When we visited El Barranco we at least saw the Wedge-rumped Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma...

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  • Darwin Finches

    There are 13 species of Darwin Finches in Galapagos Islands, and they are all endemic. The Finches are famous because the role they played in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution . When Charles Darwin visited Galapagos Islands in 1835 during his voyage with the Beagle he didn’t pay much attention to the finches, but more to the Mockingbirds which...

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  • Galapagos Sea Lion

    The Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki) is an endemic subspecies. It is common, and there is a population of about 50 000 Sea Lions in the Galapagos Islands. They can be seen in many places near the shores, on beaches, on the rocks or even in the towns (for example on a porch in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and at the Fish Market in...

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  • Galapagos Fur Seal

    The Galapagos Fur Seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) is much smaller then the Galapagos Sea Lion. The male is significantly larger than the female. They can be up to 160cm long and weigh up to 75kg, while the females only weigh up to 35kg. The Galapagos Fur Seal have a broad head with a pointed nose. They have a much thicker fur than the Sea Lions....

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  • Mockingbirds

    When Charles Darwin visited Galapagos Islands in 1835 he noticed that the Mockingbirds looked a bit different on different islands, and that is something that influenced his thoughts of evolution. There are four different species of Mockingbirds and they are all endemic. One is the Charles (Floreana) Mockingbird an endangered species that can only...

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  • Brown Pelican

    The brown Pelican can be found in many areas along the American Pacific and Atlantic coasts, but on Galapagos Islands you will find the endemic subspecies Pelecanus occidentalis urinator. They can be found by the coast on most islands.The Brown Pelicans are large birds with a length of 105-152cm and a wingspan of 203-228cm. They have very long...

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Isla Genovesa Transportation

  • The furthest island

    The downside of a visit to Genovesa is the long voyage needed to reach the island, as it lies at some distance from the centre of the archipelago. The Angelito sailed here overnight from Bartolomé, a journey of around seven hours, and the return trip to St James’ Bay, Santiago, was eight hours. The sea between the southerly islands and Genovesa is...

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  • Dry landing at Prince Philip Steps

    Our afternoon landing was at Prince Philip Steps (also known as El Barranco), where a steep but short climb leads to a trail across the cliffs. On the way there we took a panga ride along the cliffs that surround the caldera. We saw a Lava Heron poking around among the jagged rocks, and some Galápagos sea lions sleeping here, but the most exciting...

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