Genovesa

Genovesa

Genovesa Overview

North Islands
Genovesa Island, also known as Tower Island, is a unique and mesmerizing destination in the Galapagos Archipelago, renowned for its abundant wildlife and stunning natural beauty. This 14 km² island, reaching a maximum altitude of 64 meters, is particularly famous for its birdlife, earning the nickname "The Bird Island". The island's peculiar horseshoe shape is a result of the collapse of a large volcanic crater, leading to the formation of the breathtaking Darwin Bay, surrounded by steep cliffs that are a haven for seabird

Wildlife and Biodiversity

Genovesa Island is a paradise for birdwatchers, home to an impressive variety of seabirds. It hosts the world's largest colony of Red-footed Boobies, with over 140,000 breeding pairs, and is one of the few places in the Galapagos where these colorful birds are found in significant numbers. The island also supports large populations of Nazca Boobies, Frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls (the only nocturnal gull species in the world), Storm Petrels, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Darwin's Finches, Galapagos Doves, and more. The marine iguanas found here are the smallest in the archipelago, and the island's Short-eared Owl is known for its unique hunting techniques and camouflage skills.

Interesting Facts and Visitor Information

Genovesa has a rich history and interesting facts that add to its allure. It was named after the Italian city of Genoa in honor of Christopher Columbus and has had various names over the centuries, including Quita Sueño and Tower Island. The island is a protected area within the Galapagos National Park, and, being uninhabited by humans, it remains one of the most pristine islands in the archipelago. The remote location of Genovesa contributes to its unique ecosystem, where many land species never arrived, allowing birds to dominate. Notably, in March 2003, Ladybird Beetles were introduced to the island to control invasive cottony cushion scale pests.

Highlights and Visitor Sites

Genovesa offers two main visitor sites: Prince Philip's Steps (El Barranco) and Darwin Bay.

Prince Philip's Steps: A challenging but rewarding site featuring steep, rocky paths leading to high cliff-faces. This area is rich in birdlife, including Red-footed Boobies, Short-eared Lava Owls, and Galapagos Doves. The trail offers a mix of hiking and birdwatching opportunities, with moderate difficulty and a dry, difficult landing.

Darwin Bay: Known for its white sand coral beach, this site offers a trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Visitors can spot Nazca and Red-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and enjoy the sight of sea lions in tidal pools. This site is excellent for snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking, with a wet landing and easy to moderate difficulty.

Both sites provide unique opportunities to witness the island's rich birdlife and stunning natural landscapes. The calm waters of Darwin Bay also make for excellent snorkeling, with a chance to see a variety of marine life, including rays, colorful reef fish, and hammerhead sharks.

Conclusion

Genovesa Island is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, particularly birdwatchers. Its unique geological features, diverse bird populations, and pristine natural environments make it a highlight of any Galapagos adventure. When planning a visit, it's important to note that due to its remote location, Genovesa is only accessible via certain Galapagos cruise itineraries.

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Fast Facts about Genovesa

Location: Northern East
Extent of Island: 14 sq Kilometers / 5 sq Miles
Highest Point: 76.20 Meters / 250 Feet
Highlights: Red Footed Booby, Pristine & Uninhabited Island

Visit Points at Genovesa


Animals at Genovesa


Galapagos Trips to Genovesa

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*Visit point inclusion is subject to cruise programs and logistics. These are regulated by the galapagos national park.