Fernandina Island, Galapagos

Untouched Volcanic Beauty

Overview

The youngest and most pristine of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina is a favorite place to visit for Galapatours clients. Thanks to the rich, cold water currents that surround her, she's home to many wonderful species, including flightless cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, and land and marine iguanas.

The third largest island in the archipelago, she first appeared on hand-made maps by the British buccaneer Ambrose Cowley in 1684. He named her Narborough Island, but her Spanish name, Fernandina, was given to honour King Fernando of Spain, most famous as the sponsor of the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the New World. Fernandina is the Galapagos’ most volcanically active island and her last eruption was records less than 10 years ago. Many early visitors to the Galapagos Islands commented on Fernandina’s dramatic changes of landscape, her smoking craters, and tales of violent volcanic eruptions. The reason for all this activity is that she sits right over the centre of the volcanic hotspot that's responsible for creating the entire Galapagos archipelago.

Fernandina's volcano is known as La Cumbre, and the summit crater is an amazing 6.5km across. Recent eruptions have occurred both inside the crater and on the outer slopes, with some lava reaching the sea. Since the Galapagos National Park was formed there have been 13 eruptions on Fernandina, some of them continuing for several days. The National Park keeps Fernandina perfectly undisturbed, except for a single visitor site on the northeastern shore (Espinosa Point). The island is home to a large land iguana population, and they even nest in the volcanic crater. The waters surrounding Fernandina are among the richest in the whole Galapagos thanks to the rising of the cold water Cromwell Current that hits the westerly part of the island. This creates a superb feeding habitat for species like the Flightless Cormorant and Galapagos Penguins.

Photos of Fernandina Island

Fast Facts about Fernandina Island

  • The most geologically active island, her volcano last erupted less than 10 years ago
  • A perfect feeding ground for Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants
  • This pristine island is kept in perfect condition by the National Park
  • Land Iguanas nest in the warm volcanic caldera

Possibile Activities on Fernandina Island

Diving

Highlights

Espinosa Point

Pristine island habitat in a volcano's shadow

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Possibile Activities

Hiking, Snorkeling

Mangle Point

Mangrove magic at Mangle Point

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Possibile Activities

Snorkeling, Panga Ride

Cape Douglas

Wonderful wildlife above and below the water

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Possibile Activities

Diving

Map of Fernandina Island

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All cruises to visit Fernandina Island