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This island is a breeding ground for South American fur seals and sealions. The island is just 14 square kilometres in size, and its cliffs are home to Galápagos storm petrel, Madeiran storm petrel, Audubon’s shearwater and red-billed tropicbird. 

Look out for lava gulls too, the rarest gull in the world, and hammerhead sharks, which cruise along the coastline. The marine iguana is the only reptile on the island, and are the smallest in the archipelago

Some of the potential landing sites and highlights around Genovesa 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.

Darwin Bay

Darwin Bay

This white sand coral beach has a trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds to a spectacular cliff-top viewpoint. Along the trail you can see Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls, and further along are tidal pools that are frequently occupied by sealions.

  • Location highlights: Mangroves, Coral pebbles beach, Tidal pools
  • Activities: Walking (Approximately 1.5km hike), Snorkelling, Panga ride, Sea kayaking
  • Landing conditions: All times: Wet
  • Physical demand: Moderate

El Barranco

El Barranco

Here a steep, rocky path leads up to a high cliff-face with a fantastic view. The vegetation consists largely of palo santo trees, and the wildlife includes red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

  • Location highlights: High cliff-face, Fatanstic view, Palo santo trees
  • Activities: Walking (Approximately 2km hike)
  • Landing conditions: All times: Dry (but difficult)
  • Physical demand: Moderate

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: lava gull, red-billed tropicbird, South American fur seal, South American sealion, Galapagos mockingbird
  • Where: Northern islands, Galapagos Islands

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Wildlife of Ecuador & the Galapagos

Combine two of South America’s finest wildlife destinations – the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. View the outstanding variety of wildlife on walking trails and by boat from a luxury eco-lodge in the Amazon jungle, and cruise the unique Galapagos archipelago for close-up wildlife encounters.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,945 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Amazon & the Galapagos

Take a look at the fantastic wildlife of Ecuador with three days in the Amazon jungle in a private reserve, taking guided boat trips and enjoying bird’s eye views from the canopy walkway. A week’s cruise around the Galapagos Islands tops off the trip with close bird and marine life encounters.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £9,195 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

5 day First Class Northern Galapagos cruise

An exploration of the some of the Galapagos’ smaller northern islands, exploring lagoons filled with flamingos on Santa Cruz, colonies of sealions at Rábida and thousands of marine birds on Genovesa. There are plenty of opportunities to view the exceptional wildlife on hikes or panga rides.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration exc. flights: 5 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £3,570 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Recommended cruise vessel:

Santa Cruz II

The Santa Cruz II is an elegant vessel, which carries 90 passengers in 50 modern cabins. Air conditioned throughout, facilities across the five spacious decks include indoor and outdoor dining, a lounge bar, library, a gym and two hot tubs overlooking the ocean. Activities include kayaking and snorkelling.