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.