Why Punta Espinoza in Fernandina Island is One of the Top Attractions in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are an incredible place to explore for travelers who are looking for a bit of adventure. Learn about the visitor site Punta Espinoza in Fernandina Island and why it’s one of the top attractions to visit throughout the year.

Top 6 Benefits of Visiting Punta Espinoza in Fernandina Island at the Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands consist of 19 different islands 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. They are known for the abundant amount of wildlife that is available in a natural habitat that is highly protected from development. Volcanoes, tranquil beaches, and remote locations are some of the most common reasons that tourists visit the destination each year. One of the top places to visit is the western island of Fernandina and its only visitor site known as Punta Espinoza. There are stunning vistas here, and the wildlife is one of a kind. A truly memorable spot to explore.

1. Natural Wildlife

An average of 100,000 black and gray iguanas are known to be present on Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island. They roam freely and are not afraid of humans, which means they tend to lay in large piles without moving, even when groups of people are present. Sea lions and different types of birds can also be spotted on Punta Espinoza. The island is one of those remote places to visit due to its western location. Its wildlife experience also exposes visitors to sally lightfoot crabs, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and flightless cormorants being common creatures one may encounter.

Santa Cruz's Guest Interacting With A Flightless Cormorant On Fernandina Island.
Our Guests Interacting With A Flightless Cormorant During Their Visit On Fernandina Island.

Many of the iguanas can also be seen swimming and looking for food under the water, leading to great photo opportunities for visitors. The iguanas can stay under the water for up to an hour as they are always in search of algae. Their body temperature can drop down some 20°F while they swim and look for food, which causes them to lay out on the lava rock as they digest their food, and for a quick warm-up. Their dark coloration allows them to efficiently gather a warm body temperature.

The largest colony of iguanas in the Galapagos is known to be present on the island, which causes the lava rocks to look like they’re moving because the reptiles blend in with the island. None of the animals on the island have been introduced, which means that they all arrived on their own without the help of humans.

Many of the iguanas can actually be heard snorting out salt throughout the day as they attempt to remove excess salt through their highly specialized salt glands. These glands act like a third kidney preventing a salty mix from harming their internal metabolic functions. Most of these reptiles eat once a day when they take a swim in the water.

2. Active Volcanoes

Many people visit Punta Espinoza in Fernandina Island for the abundance of lava rocks that are available due to the presence of one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The volcano is considered to be the youngest in the Galapagos, with its last eruption taking place in April 2009.

Tour guides often recommend bringing a pair of walking shoes to your Galapagos cruise to maintain your grip on the rocky surface to ensure that you can explore the island safely and comfortably. Many of the hikes and guided tours cover areas of both lava and sand.

3. Warm Weather

Santa Cruz's Guests Walking On Fernandina Island.
Walking During A Sunny Day On Fernandina Island.

The island of Fernandina in the Galapagos experiences warm weather throughout the year during the months of December to May. There tends to be plenty of sunshine on most days, which causes the cold-blooded marine iguanas to inhabit the land and bask in the light on the shore. The temperature often settles around 70 degrees Fahrenheit with light winds present at times. It is quite shocking, however, that due to the upwelling waters from the Cromwell Current one may find a totally subtropical environment and even a nippy drizzle around the months of August and September.

4. Beautiful Views

Fernandina is a rocky island that offers spectacular panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The turquoise waters make it a beautiful place to photograph, and views of nearby Isabela Island are prominent as well. Most explorers become fascinated with the shape of this volcano, which really looks like a giant upside-down saucer plate. Visitors can also enjoy taking pictures of the marine life when exploring the underwater world of the Pacific Ocean that presents itself while swimming or snorkeling.

Mangrove trees can also be found on the island, and these are located just above the gravel beaches. Sea lions can be seen basking in the sun or taking a dip in the water, making for a picturesque setting that can feel like paradise. The island is young, and therefore few arrivals have made few successful establishments here.

5. Shallow Pools

You are also likely to come across a number of different shallow pools on the island near the same areas where large Green Sea turtles and crabs can be found. Many of the animals wait for the high tide in the pools, and they are friendly to humans who want to get up close. Many of these creatures are looking to get back into the ocean, but they settle in the ponds during the day. It is quite common to find a patient striated heron waiting for fish to swim by, before making its long neck stretch and capturing the tasty morsel.

6. Water Activities

Galapagos Activities: Snorkeling With Penguins
Snorkeling Is A Great Way To Get A Close-Up Of The Galapagos Islands Iconic Marine Life

Punta Espinosa in Fernandina Island is also a popular place to visit for the water activities that are available, which can be enjoyed all year round. Many visitors come to snorkel and get a glimpse of the marine life or to follow the iguanas as they spend their time looking for food in the water. Many people also visit the island to go swimming when the weather permits, allowing for the incredible opportunity to wade the water next to playful sea lions that can be seen in groups. Scuba diving on live-aboard vessels is also available for those who want to spend more time in the water and explore the depths of the ocean.

Visit our Western Islands itinerary to see this wonderful site of Punta Espinoza in Fernandina Island!

Blog Reviewed & Edited by: Francisco Dousdebés
All Images: Francisco Dousdebés

Updated:May 9, 2023

Published:November 9, 2016


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person




Condé Nast Traveler ONLINE

This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

Telegraph Ultra Travel: 50 Greatest Hotels in the World

When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

Terms and Conditions

Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

We have what you are looking for!