Isla Rábida Favorites

  • Favorites
    by MalenaN
  • Galapagos Mockingbird
    Galapagos Mockingbird
    by MalenaN
  • Sea Lions on Isla Rabida
    Sea Lions on Isla Rabida
    by MalenaN

Most Recent Favorites in Isla Rábida

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Sea Lions

    by MalenaN Written Oct 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sea Lions on Isla Rabida
    4 more images

    Favorite thing: 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, and don’t be surprised if you get surrounded by playful sea lions while snorkelling. It is absolutely fantastic!

    The male Sea Lion becomes very large, up to 230cm in length, with a weigh up to 250kg. They have a dark brown fur, which almost looks black when wet and they have a thick neck.

    The females are smaller and weigh up to 120kg. They have lighter brown fur, which looks dark brown when wet. There are many more females as only one tenth of the Sea Lion pups are males.

    The Galapagos Sea Lions feed during the day and they mostly eat Sardines. They can be away at sea for days to hunt for fish. Sharks are natural predators of the Sea Lions.

    The Galapagos Sea Lions form colonies which consist of a dominant male (bull) and up to 30 females (cows) with their pups. The bull protects its territory against other males and sometimes there are fights. As it is difficult for a male to be away feeding while protecting his territory he becomes weaker and he will then be replaced by a stronger male after a while. Males without a territory form bachelor colonies.

    The females give birth to one pup each year, which they nurse for up to three years. Sometimes you can see two pups of different age suckling milk from their mother. When they are around five months the pups can start fishing for themselves though. The mother and child can recognise each other’s bark and thus find each other among the other Sea Lions in the colony.

    On the red beach of Isla Rábida there were a few Sea Lions.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Mockingbirds

    by MalenaN Written Oct 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Galapagos Mockingbird
    1 more image

    Favorite thing: 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 be found on the two small islands Champion and Gardner just off Floreana. Then there is the Chatham (San Cristóbal) Mockingbird that lives on Isla San Cristóbal and it is quite uncommon. On Isla Española the Hood Mockingbird is common, and common on the other islands is the Galapagos Mockingbird.

    The mockingbirds have a grey and brown plumage with a white belly, and their length is 25-28cm. The bill is long, thin and black.

    Mockingbirds can be found in dry forests- and shrubland areas. They are omnivours and often prey on seabird eggs, insects, young finches or small Lava Lizards.

    The Mockingbirds in photo 1, 2 and 3 are Hood Mockingbirds having a feast on turtle eggs on the beach at Gardner Bay, Isla Española. The Hood Mockingbird is the largest of the Mockingbird species on Galapagos Islands and it also has a longer, more curved bill than the other Mockingbirds. That is very useful when eating eggs of sea birds or turtles. The Hood Mockingbird is known to be unafraid of humans and it can often get quite aggressive.

    The Mockingbird in the photo is a Galapagos Mockingbird. The Galapagos Mockingbird has a darker brown colour than the other Mockingbird species on the Galapagos Islands and it has a quite broad white collar. There are six subspecies of the Galapagos Mockingbird and the one on Isla Rábida is called Nesomimus parvulus personatus. The same subspecies can also be seen on Pinta, Marchena and Santiago.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Scorpions

    by MalenaN Written Oct 27, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Scorpion on Isla R��bida
    1 more image

    Favorite thing: During my two visits to Galapagos Islands I have only seen one scorpion and that was a yellow scorpion, Hadruroides lunatus, which we saw on Isla Rábida. This is not an endemic species and it can be found on many of the larger islands in the archipelago, except Genovesa, Marchena, Pinta and Española.

    In the Galapagos Islands there is also an endemic scorpion, the Galapagos Scorpion, Centruroides exsul. It has a reddish-brown to dark brown colour with thin pincers. This scorpion can only be found on Floreana, Española, San Cristóbal, Santa Cruz and Pinta.

    The scorpions hunt at night and prey on insects and other arthropods. During the day they usually hide under vegetation and rocks. The scorpion we saw on Rábida was hiding under a stone.

    If you get stung by a scorpion in the Galapagos Islands it will probably feel a bit painful, but nothing worse will happen.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Darwin Finches

    by MalenaN Written Oct 26, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Ground Finch
    1 more image

    Favorite thing: 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 he noticed differences in, between the islands. He collected finches but didn’t record from which islands. It was not until he came home and talked to an ornithologist and others who had collected finches during the visit that he understood the significance of them.

    All 13 Darwin Finches in Galapagos Islands have evolved from a species of finch found on the South American Pacific coast. When they came to Galapagos Islands they adopted to different habitats and food available there. The beaks have evolved to be suitable to the food they eat. To be able to specialize in feeding is good when food is scarce and there is more competition for what is available.

    Interesting to know is that the Woodpecker Finch can use thorns or twigs as tools when they search for larva or other insects in small crevices. Ground Finches eat skin parasites from Tortoises, Land Iguanas and Marine Iguanas, and the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch on Wolf and Darwin is also called Vampire Finch as they feed on blood they peck from Nazca Boobies.

    The Darwin Finches have a length of 10 - 16cm. Their plumage is mottled grey, brown, black or olive coloured. Some species are not difficult to distinguish, while others are more difficult to identify. Not only are some species looking alike, but there are variations within a species and there are also hybrids.

    The finch in the photo is a Ground Finch.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Lava Lizards

    by MalenaN Written Oct 25, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lava Lizard on Isla R��bida

    Favorite thing: Lava Lizards are endemic to the Galapagos Islands and there are seven different species. The Galapagos Lava Lizard (Microlophus Albemarlensis) can be seen on several islands, and then there are the Española Lava Lizard, Floreana Lava Lizard, Marchena Lava Lizard, Pinta Lava Lizard, Pinzón Lava Lizard and the San Cristóbal Lava Lizard. There is never more than one species on each island. The Lava Lizards are common in the dry areas near the coasts.

    Lava Lizards are between 15 - 30 centimetres long, and it is the Floreana Lava Lizard that is the smallest and the Española Lava Lizard that is the longest. Colour and marking varies between species and the habitat they are living in. And like other lizards they change colour because of temperature or if they feel threatened. But in general one can say that the males are larger than the females, and often have a brighter colour with a distinct pattern. When the males are mature they are brown/black under the throat, while mature females have an orange throat.

    Lava Lizards are active during the day. They are omnivores and feed on plants, but mostly eat insects. They can even eat baby lava lizards (I have seen that at Tortuga Bay on Isla Santa Cruz).

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Marine Iguanas

    by MalenaN Written Oct 25, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: 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 archipelago and they can be found on all islands, often in the shore zone, on the lava rocks.

    During millions of years the Marine Iguana has evolved to be well adapted to its environment. With a flattened snout and sharp teeth they can effectively feed on the algae on the rocks. Their tail helps them swim under water and with their long claws they can stand firmly on the rocks. Sometimes you can see the Marine Iguanas snort, that is when they get rid of excess sea salt with help from salt-eliminating glands in their nostrils. Most Marine Iguanas are black or dark grey in colour but on some islands the male can have a red or green colouring, a colouring that becomes brighter during the mating season.

    Males become around 1m long, but some subspecies become longer and others shorter. The females are shorter than the males, and the spines along their back are not as large as on the male.

    Females and young iguanas feed along the shore when it is low tide. It is mostly the males that feed in the sea and they can stay up to an hour under water. As the water is cold the iguanas must get warm when they come up on land, and then you can often see them basking in the sun with their face to the sun and their body raised from the ground (they must get warm, but not too warm so by raising the body they will allow the air to circulate under the body).

    The Marine Iguanas are funny to see in the water. A few times while snorkeling in Galapagos Islands I have seen them swimming. Once was in Sullivan Bay, which is not very far away from Sombrero Chino. I saw a Marin Iguana just as it took off from the bottom and swam up to the surface. As it reached the surface a sea lion got hold of the tail and played with it. Great for me to see, but I don’t think the iguana appreciated it that much (this was during the cruise with Cachalote in 2011).

    The breeding season is from November - March. The females will then lay the eggs in an underground nest where they are incubated for three months. The baby iguanas are small and are therefore vulnerable to predators. They risk getting eaten by owls, hawks herons or mocking birds.

    When we visited Isla Rábida I only saw one Marine Iguana. It was not very near to the path, but because it was lying on a red rock it was clearly visible.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • National/State Park
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo

    Brown Pelican

    by MalenaN Written Oct 25, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    Favorite thing: 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 bills with an elastic pouch which they use when catching fish. The male and female look alike, but females are usually a little smaller. They have a greyish-brown plumage and they have a chestnut and white marking on neck and head when breeding. When not breeding the neck is more greyish. The juveniles have the same greyish-brown colour, but a paler/white belly. The feet are webbed.

    The Brown Pelican feeds on fish and crustaceans and they can often be seen plunge-diving from the air into the sea to catch their prey. Under the water they fill their bill with water and fish, and then filter the water and swallow the fish.

    The Galapagos Brown Pelican usually nest in mangroves and low bushes. They nest in colonies or individually. The female lay 2-3 eggs and they are incubated by both parents for about a month. They breed throughout the year.

    The pelicans can live as long as 30 years.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    A Manta Ray

    by toonsarah Updated Dec 22, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Manta Ray and Brown Noddy
    2 more images

    Fondest memory: Earlier in the week I had been disappointed to hear that I missed the opportunity to see a Manta ray which had been spotted by some others in our group while on deck on the Angelito. But on Rabida we all saw a manta ray! We were up on the cliffs on the east side of the island, admiring the fantastic views, when someone spotted what they thought at first might be a dolphin or shark, but which on closer inspection by Fabian proved to indeed be a huge Manta Ray in the sea directly beneath us. He stayed for a long while, turning languidly in the waves. This is likely to have been an Oceanic Manta Ray, and as these can grow to seven metres wide, it is not surprising that he seemed really big even viewed from so high up on the cliffs above. He was patrolling up and down the coast and I imagine looking for food there. Many rays are bottom feeders but others filter plankton from sea water passing through their mouths and out of their gills as they swim, and I think “our” Manta Ray was probably doing this. We watched as he moved slowly along, from time to time lifting a giant “wing” above the surface. It was hard to tear ourselves away (not for the first time on this trip) but eventually he left, and so did we.

    We followed the loop trail away from here and back down to the beach to visit the saltwater lagoon, as described in my next tip.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Cruise

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Isla Rábida

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

64 travelers online now

Comments

Isla Rábida Favorites

Reviews and photos of Isla Rábida favorites posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Isla Rábida sightseeing.

View all Isla Rábida hotels