Fernandina Island Travel

A hive of volcanic activity, Fernandina Island shelters a wide variety of animal species and one somewhat lively volcano – La Cumbre.

At less than one million years old, Fernandina may be one of the largest islands in the archipelago but is also the youngest. The resident volcano, La Cumbre, has played a major role in the island’s ever-changing form. Still active, it has left behind fascinating lava formations, most recently erupting in the 1990s. Whether you enjoy snorkelling in crystal-clear waters or get a kick from hiking through the undergrowth, Fernandina Island is a wonderful Galapagos haven.

Due in part to La Cumbre’s recent history of eruptions, visitors to Fernandina will notice that the island is not as verdant as some of its neighbours, although mangroves provide greenery along the shoreline. However, the lack of woodland and rolling hills has not put off the wildlife who have chosen this island as their home. Thanks to the fact that humans have not populated Fernandina, therefore bringing with them predators such as dogs and cats, endemic species here are positively thriving.

One of the largest colonies of Galapagos Penguins can be found on Fernandina, along with a host of other avian species including the Flightless Cormorant that is rarely seen elsewhere and the majestic Galapagos Hawk, often spotted soaring in the sky, looking for its next meal. Land Iguanas are plentiful on Fernandina, nesting in and around the caldera. Meanwhile, if you head to the beach, Marine Iguanas and Lava Lizards are here in abundance. One of the best spots to get amongst the wildlife is Punta Espinosa where lazy Sea Lions can be found sunbathing and Sally Lightfoot Crabs hurry in and out of the volcanic rocks.

The variety of all creatures living alongside each other in the bay, carefree, is outstanding. As you explore Fernandina and come face to face with its inhabitants it becomes apparent that this island is something quite special. Its wildlife untouched by outside forces, it may be one of the most unique of all the Galapagos Islands.

Highlights of Fernandina Island:

Watch the Galapagos Penguins

If you are a fan of these birds, then Penguin-watching at Fernandina is a must. With the island being home to a huge percentage of this endangered species, you really can spend hours watching them hop from rock to rock, going about their business. A one-of-a-kind experience.

Explore the rock pools at Punta Espinosa

The rock pools at Punta Espinosa are full of life, particularly at low tide when Crabs, fish and even some Octopus wait patiently for the waves to take them back out to sea. Peer into the water and discover this mini ecosystem, a snapshot of the wider area and just as interesting as the reefs that lie beyond in the deeper waters.

Visit the Flightless Cormorant in its natural habitat

Endemic to Fernandina, nowhere else on earth will you find the Flightless Cormorant in such huge numbers. Having adapted to the unique Galapagos environment, these birds no longer fly, yet watching them as they launch under water, it is clear that this has not impinged their ability to hunt. The Flightless Cormorant is mesmerising and a fantastic example of evolution which, of course, is one of the things we know these islands best for.

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