Visitor Sites on Genovesa Island
Darwin Bay is a fantastic spot for snorkeling or swimming from the white coral beach. Here, you will get to snorkel right over a cleaning station for the hammerhead sharks. In one of nature’s most interesting displays of symbiosis, the massive predators swim right into the shallows of Darwin Bay to be cleaned by the fish which eat the dead skin cells, parasites, and bacteria. There are also other interesting species to be found, including rays, starfish, and other tropical fish. A short hike on the beach will take you past large rocks and into an area colonized with an impressive population of the distinct frigatebirds. In addition to the frigates, you will likely see Galapagos doves and sea lions lounging on the beach.
El Barranco (Prince Philip’s Steps) – A dinghy will leave you at the bottom of these steep stone steps carved right into the rock wall. Once you reach the top, you will be met by a sweeping plateau of birds of all species. Nazca & red-footed boobies can be seen doing their curious mating dance here, and a short walk will take you across the arid mesa to a stunning trail where storm petrels, frigates, boobies, and other native and endemic land and sea birds soar through the air. If you have a sharp eye, you might even catch a glimpse of the camouflaged short-eared owl, a dangerous predator for anything unfortunate enough to be on this stealthy predator’s menu.
Genovesa Island Facts and Highlights
- Genovesa Island is a haven for birdwatchers. The variety of unique and endemic bird species that inhabit it include frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, and the iconic swallow-tailed gull in their natural habitat.
- Prince Philip's Steps is one of Genovesa's main visitor sites. Enjoy a guided hike through a stunning landscape of lava cliffs and unique wildlife.
- Stunning Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island is home to a variety of marine life, including sea lions and rays. Go on a guided boat tour or enjoy snorkeling in the clear waters to observe the diverse underwater ecosystems.
- El Barranco is another visitor site where hikers have the opportunity to explore a landscape of volcanic cliffs and lush vegetation.
- Genovesa Island is one of the more remote and untouched islands in the Galapagos archipelago, offering visitors a unique and authentic experience of the natural world. Its lack of human development and pristine landscapes make it a true natural wonder.