Pinzon is named after the brothers who captained the famous ships Pinta and Nina that sailed with Christopher Columbus on his voyage of discovery to the New World. This small island is surrounded by deep waters, and this has meant that its species have been isolated from the rest of the Galapagos for millennia. Unlike most of the other Galapagos islands classed as arid, Pinzon's interior rises to heights where it experiences the often thick mists that occur on the higher islands. This means it has many more species of ferns and similar plants compared to other similar islands.
Pinzon has rich wildlife, and common species found here include Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves, Vermilion Flycatchers and Galapagos snakes. Pinzon has two of its own endemic species, the Pinzon Lava Lizard and the Pinzon Giant Tortoise. The tortoises were almost extinct, with fewer than 100 individuals remaining, when the National Park was established, and the Pinzon Tortoise Project (which is still underway) was one of the first captive breeding and reintroduction programs established by the Galapagos National Park. Since it started, the Pinzon Tortoise Project has succeeded in tripling the numbers of tortoises on the island.
There are no approved land or marine visitor sites on Pinzon, so it remains one of the least visited of the Galapagos Islands.
Fast Facts about Pinzón Island
- The remains of two WWII planes that crashed on Pinzon are still visible
- The Pinzon Tortoise Breeding Program was one of the first after the formation of the National Park
- Pinzon is surrounded by deep waters that are popular with Galapagos fishermen
- Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks can be seen in the waters off Pinzon