Española Island, Galapagos

Oldest Island and Albatross Haven

Overview

Española is the most southerly of the Galapagos Islands and is probably one of the oldest. In fact, geologists have estimated it to be over 4 million years old! Over many thousands of years, thanks to tectonic activity, the island has slowly drifted away from the volcanic hot spot under the Galapagos where it first formed and its volcano lost its energy source, becoming extinct. Once the source of fresh lava ceased, the weather began its inexorable process of erosion, now making Española unusually flat and low-lying compared to most other Galapagos islands.

Española Island enjoys a really good variety and quantity of interesting species, and its visitor sites are therefore among the most popular in the Galapagos. Because of its isolation, Española is home to many unique species, including the Española Mocking Bird, the Española Lava Lizard, and the famous Waved Albatross. The Española Giant Tortoise was saved from extinction, and this has become one of Galapagos’ best known conservation successes. Española is probably most well-known for being the only known breeding ground for the entire world population of Waved Albatrosses, now a critically endangered species. Their population is currently being regularly monitored, and steps to protect their habitat are being taken by the National Park.

Photos of Española Island

Fast Facts about Española Island

  • The world's only breeding ground for Waved Albatross
  • The oldest Galapagos Island - 4 million years!
  • Popular with visitors thanks to many unique species
  • The Española Tortoise was saved from extinction when only 14 were left

Possibile Activities on Española Island

Snorkeling

Animals and Plants on Española Island

Attractions on Española Island

Gardner Bay

The Galapagos' most stunning white sand beach

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Possibile Activities

Snorkeling, panga ride, kayaking, hiking

Suarez Point

One of the most wildlife-rich sites in Galapagos

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Possibile Activities

Hiking

Map of Española Island

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All cruises to visit the Española Island