Española: Gadrner Bay & Punta Suárez

Sep 10, 2018 - National Geographic Islander

Today we reached the oldest island of the archipelago, Española. Like San Cristobal, it also harbors a unique set of species that are endemic only to Española. This includes the Española mockingbird, the Española lava lizard, and the Christmas iguana; a subspecies of marine iguana unique to the island. We also saw waved albatross that nest here, as well as on La Plata Island. These magnificent birds travel all the way to Peru to feed their chicks.

In the morning, we snorkeled around Gardner Islet and swam with sea lions and chased common dolphins! Later, we visited a beautiful sandy beach. In the afternoon we visited Punta Suarez, where many sea birds nest. We also observed several waved albatross chicks as well as adults in courtship.

Española never stops amazing me and it is a paradise for wildlife observations, particularly for sea birds.

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About the Author

Luis Vinueza


Luis arrived in the Galápagos Islands for the first time when he was 11 years old in 1983, and from that time on he knew that Galápagos would one day be his home. He returned to the islands in 1995 and spent 14 months camping in a tent. Seven of those months were spent on Española Island, studying the relationship of reproductive success and mate retention of Nazca boobies. In 1997, he started working for the marine lab at the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on different fields including diving surveys to assess the patterns of marine biodiversity around the Galápagos Marine Reserve. His research included counting lobsters and sea cucumbers and participating as an advisor for CDRS during the negotiation process that led to the 1998 creation of the Galápagos Marine Reserve. 

About the Videographer

Mark Coger

Video Chronicler

Growing up in a military family, Mark Coger has been traveling most of his life.  While living in Japan, he developed his passion for videography.  He began his venture in the field of video production by filming numerous events for a local high school and the military community before moving to Southern California, where he obtained his degree in filmmaking at California State University Northridge.  From there, he went on to produce and direct his first major short film, An American Journalist which was screened at the Method Film Festival.

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