After our initial visit to Isabela, we headed across the Bolivar Channel towards Punta Espinosa on Fernandina Island. Fernandina is just over 100,000 years old and is the youngest of the Galapagos Islands. Volcanically it is also the most active with eruptions from Volcan la Cumbre ocurring every few years. The most recent was in June 2018, so this is somewhere near the highly active Galapagos hot spot. No foreign species has ever invaded this island, so it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems.
During our passage we were excited to see a manta ray majestically leaping out of the sea, followed by a large pod of common dolphins. Their acrobatics were spectacular.
We enjoyed a double dose of this sand and lava point. First we snorkeled among marine iguanas, tortoises, hog fish, boobies and a manta ray nestled into the sand. The feeling of swimming with marine iguanas was particularly neat.
Later in the afternoon we made a dry landing and strolled for about a mile along the lava and sand beach. The point was an endless “pahoehoe” (basaltic lava forming smooth undulating or ropy masses) lava flow, and offered a wonderful view of the volcano. The wildlife among the lava, sand and tidal pools was spectacular, with endless masses of marine iguana, tortoises, sea lions, hawks, pelicans, penguins, flightless cormorants and the ever-present Sally Lightfoot crabs.
Scenic and People