Fernandina Island

Fernandina Island is the westernmost island of the Galapagos Archipelago. It is one of the youngest and most active volcanos of our planet. There are no human settlements on the island.

Fernandina Island holds only one visitor site: Punta Espinoza (located on the northeast corner of the island)

This shield volcano raises 1,476 meters above sea level (4,842 feet). Previous eruption took place between January and April 1995. Island volcanos behave very differently than continental volcanos

This constant state of volcanic change gives Fernandina its unique feeling. Lacking the native plants and animals of the other islands visitors obtain the feeling of being at the end of the earth.

Fernandina is home to a large colony of marine iguanas, Galapagos Penguins and flightless cormorants.


Located on the northeast part of Fernandina the visit begins with a dry landing. If the tide is right it is possible to use a dock, otherwise the landing is made on to volcanic rock and it can be slippery. The trail to the shore can be filled with interesting obstacles including marine iguanas and mangrove branches. Once on shore there are two paths:

From the left of the landing site the trail leads into the lava fields. As the youngest of the islands, Fernandina allows visitors to view the recent volcanic activity.

The lava itself is very fragile and full of fissures, which can cause for tenuous walking conditions.

Plants are nearly devoid in this area; lava cactus seems to be one of the few plants able to survive. These small cacti live only a few years, growing in groups. The spines are yellow when young darkening with age and the flower is a creamy white visible only in the early mornings.

This Land's End trail takes you to a baron patch of land with a few mangroves and rich wildlife. Fernandina is home to the largest colony of marine iguanas. During the first half of the year the iguanas nest here by burrowing small holes in the sand.

Following the trail near the tip of the point a colony of sea lions can be seen. Male sea lions are extremely territorial and their barks warning off would-be-intruders are heard over the sound of the crashing surf.

Flightless cormorants nest in along this rocky area near the high water line, and recently Galapagos Penguins have been spotted nesting in the area.

Landing: dry landing
Highlights: piles of marine iguanas, Galapagos Penguins and flightless cormorant
Conditions: the youngest of the islands with the most active volcano there is plenty of lava and few plants.
Notes: this is the only island to never have introduced animals. Visitors should be careful to remain on the trail at all time and not to introduce any new species.




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