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Española is the southernmost island in the Galapagos archipelago, and is home to magnificent seabird colonies including blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. 

The island is also the breeding site for the waved albatross, and its marine iguanas are the only ones to change colour during the breeding season.

Some of the potential landing sites and highlights around Española Island are shown below.  There are two kinds of landing: a 'dry landing', where you step from the panga (dinghy) that takes you ashore directly onto rocks or a jetty, and a 'wet landing', where the panga edges into a sandy beach, and you step out into knee-deep water and wade ashore.

Punta Suárez

Punta Suárez

This headland is a great place to spot blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and waved albatrosses, which use the cliff as a launch pad. A blowhole spurts a column of water high into the air, creating wonderful photographic opportunities.

  • Location highlights: Amazing landscape, Blowhole
  • Activities: Walking (Approximately 3km hike)
  • Landing conditions: All times: Dry
  • Physical demand: Strenuous

Gardner Bay

Gardner Bay

This bay on the eastern side of the island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world´s 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. Its wide white sandy beach with many sealions is a perfect spot for relaxing, and the rocky shoreline makes it a great place for diving and snorkelling.

  • Location highlights: White sandy beach, Sea lion nursery
  • Activities: Panga ride, Sea kayaking, Snorkelling, Walking (Short hike of approximately 1km)
  • Landing conditions: All times: Wet
  • Physical demand: Gentle

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: blue-footed booby, masked booby, swallow-tailed gull, waved albatross, lava lizard
  • Where: Southern islands, Eastern islands, Galapagos Islands

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

4 day deluxe Eastern Islands cruise

A short trip to four of the Galapagos’ remarkable islands - San Cristóbal, Española, Floreana and Santa Cruz – to see marine iguanas, sealions and marine birds aplenty. Walking trails and panga (dinghy) rides along the rugged coastline afford spectacular views of the islands’ unique landscapes.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration exc. flights: 4 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £2,175 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

8 day Superior Southern Galapagos sailer

This trip visits the archipelago’s smaller islands, exploring them by panga (dinghy) and on foot. You’ll discover noisy sealion colonies leisurely wandering around, fiery coloured iguanas, blue-footed boobies and Sally Lightfoot crabs surrounding the rocks, and a wealth of colourful birdlife.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration exc. flights: 8 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £3,110 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Recommended cruise vessels:


Anahi is a power catamaran yacht, which provides great stability, and is the ideal vessel for passengers with little or no experience at sea. Eight cabins equipped with portrait windows, air-conditioning, lower berths, and a private bathroom, provide comfortable accommodation for Galapagos cruises.

Nemo II

The Nemo II is a first class sail catamaran accommodating a maximum of 12 passengers in six tastefully designed cabins, each slightly different in size and configuration. There is a common area both inside and out, as well as a small sun deck complete with lounge chairs, and a small bar.