Day 5San Cristobal and Española Islands
San Cristóbal is the easternmost island in Galapagos and was colonized during the 1860s. On its southwestern side is the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the province of Galapagos, which is also the second largest harbor where you still may feel the old fishermen style. Kicker Rock is a magnificent rock in the middle of the sea. Rising 500 feet straight from the ocean, this giant uplifted rock has the shape of a sleeping lion. It has a split with towering vertical walls on either side, forming a narrow channel through which small vessels can navigate. This beautiful rocky islet located off the west coast of San Cristóbal, is a nesting place of different species of sea birds.
Española is the southernmost island of the archipelago. Because it is one of the most isolated islands in the archipelago, the 14 km long and 7 km wide island has a high proportion of endemic fauna. You can see the Española Mockingbird, the giant Lava Lizard, the Española Marine Iguana and the Waved Albatross.
Punta Suarez is one of the most popular and attractive visits of the Galapagos. The quantity and variety of wildlife on this site are remarkable. A few steps inland from the landing site, groups of the Española variety of marine iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland Masked and Blue Footed Boobies nest almost right on the trails, Galapagos Doves peck around unaware of visitors and finches go about their business in the bushes. The trail continues toward the cliffs and the blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water spurts high in the air like a geyser.
The cracks in the rock are home to the attractive Swallow-tailed Gulls and Red-billed Tropicbirds. Further up the cliff, in an area of low-lying trees, is the only place where the Waved Albatross nests, and in fact, the 10 to 12,000 pairs of albatrosses on Española are all the individuals of this species that exist in the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular rituals of the animal world. Watching these large birds (up to 1 meter high) take off is another unforgettable moment. The albatrosses clumsily wobble to the edge of the cliff and launch themselves against the wind to be transformed into gracious flying creatures.