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You are here:7.3. Fernandina Island

7.3. Fernandina Island

Arid zone

Fernandina Island

The youngest of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina has a land surface of 642 square kilometers and a maximum elevation of 1494 meters.  This island has an active volcano and the only site open to visitors is Punta Espinosa.  You can visit in the same day that you visit the Playa Tortuga Negra site on Isabela Island.   It is preferable to visit Playa Tortuga Negra in the early morning and leave Punta Espinosa for the afternoon.



Punta Espinosa.

It is located on the northeast corner of Fernandina Island, facing the western side of Isabela Island.  It is a low point, jutting out into the Canal de Bolivar. The trail begins in an area of mangroves, but immediately goes out to the open along a sandy stretch.  Please stay on the trail as this sandy area is a nesting site for the Marine Iguanas.   At the end of this little peninsula, the uplifted rocky shore is a nesting ground for the iconic Flightless Cormorant (e). This is the best site to observe the cormorant on their nests, but it is also regularly seen when the birds are looking for food in the shallow waters by the shore of Fernandina and Western Isabela islands. 

The numerous tidal pools and gently shelving shore are great places to look for waders, especially during the northern winter.  The large number of Marine Iguanas attracts the opportunistic Galápagos Hawk (e), which feeds on them.

A few Mangrove Finches have recently been found again along the trail, apparently having dispersed across from Isabela.

(Click here to download Map of Punta Espinosa)


Birds to look for

Punta Espinosa.

Arid Zone   (AZ), Sea shores (SS).

Common:   Flightless Cormorant (e) (SS),   Galápagos Shearwater (e) (SS),   Elliot’s Storm Petrel (endemic   subspecies galapagoensis) (SS).

Uncommon:   Galápagos Hawk (e) (SS), Whimbrel (SS),   American Oystercatcher (endemic subspecies   galapagensis) (SS), Semipalmated   Plover (SS).



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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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