Genovesa Island, Galápagos
The Bird Island
What you need to know about Genovesa Island, Galápagos
Genovesa Island is a circular island with a dramatic horseshoe bay that sits to the northeastern of the Galápagos. Its distinctive shape is the result of the collapse of a large volcanic crater, and this resulted in the formation now known as Darwin Bay, which is surrounded by steep cliffs that provide homes for many different seabirds.
In the centre of the island is Lake Arcturus, which is a salt-water crater lake. Genovesa's volcano hasn’t erupted in recorded history, but there is some evidence of more recent lava flows in some places so it's not yet extinct. Genovesa has the well-earned nickname of “The Bird Island” because of the vast numbers that nest here. You can’t fail but but be impressed with the huge numbers of Frigatebirds, Nazca-Boobies and Red-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Storm Petrels, Red-billed Tropicbirds, finches, and mockingbirds, among many other species that you can see when you visit.
Genovesa is one of the few islands in the Galápagos where Red-footed Boobies are found in very large numbers. On shore, the island’s only reptiles are her native Genovesa Marine Iguanas, the smallest species in the whole Galápagos.
Interesting facts about Genovesa Island
Her circular shape is because she was formed from the caldera of a volcano
Home to many species of seabirds who love her high cliffs for nesting
Thousands of Ladybirds were released here to control invasive pests
One of the few islands that is home to Red-Footed Boobies
Pictures of Genovesa Island, Galápagos
Highlights and Visitorpoints on Genovesa
Darwin Bay is a must-visit site for birdwatchers. Starting with a landing on a beautiful white coral beach you are able to follow an easy half-mile trail that will take you through bird-filled mangroves. Species that can be seen on this part of the trail include Nazca Boobies, Galápagos red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-Tailed gulls.
As the path continues you will find tidal pools - favourite spots for Galápagos Sea Lions to lazily swim and play. At the path's end you will come to the top of a cliff which will reward you with a spectacular view.
Prince Philip's Steps
Named after Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who visited the Galápagos Islands twice, the Prince Philip's Steps pier uses natural rock formations to allow you to land and admire the variety of seabirds that inhabit Genovesa. With careful steps on the wet and slippery lower rocks, you begin your hike near a small colony of Galápagos sea bears before reaching the beautiful vantage point further up with views of the lava plains.
The birdlife will surround you from all sides and you will enjoy the sight and sounds of many wonderful species, including blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies, but also small Galápagos owls and Galápagos pigeons.