Rábida Island, Galapagos

Land of Iron Volcanoes


Rabida is a small, steeply-sloped island with red-sand shores, and was originally called Jervis. Despite its small size, Rabida has one of the highest concentrations of volcanic features in the Galapagos, and it's thanks to the iron-rich lava deposits that its sands and soils are so red.

It's rugged shores with sheltered caves are favourites with Galapagos Sea Lions and marine iguanas who seek their shade in hot weather. Rabida is one of the best spots in the archipelago to observe pelicans, who nest here amongst the saltbush.

Inland there are many Opuntias which provide habitats for land birds like Darwin's finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Mockingbirds.

The main conservation challenge on Rabida is from the introduction of invasive rats. It's not known exactly when they arrived, but it is thought to be sometime in the last 50 years. Since then the population of a plant species Galvezia leucantha pubescens has become critically endangered, and it's thought this is due to rat activity.

Photos of Rábida Island

Fast Facts about Rábida Island

  • The red soils of Rabida are due to the high iron content of its volcanic lava
  • Black rats arrived only 50 years ago, and already one plant species is critically endangered
  • Rabida is named after the convent where Columbus left his son during his New World voyage
  • Flamingos feed and breed in the saltwater lagoons behind the beach on Rabida


A walk on Rabida Island

Another birdwatcher's paradise!

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Possibile Activities

Snorkeling, panga ride, hiking

Map of Rábida Island

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