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For more information on each of Galapagos Islands click on name
Baltra Island Bartolome Island Pinta Island Española Island Fernandina Island
Floreana Island Genovesa Island Isabela Island Marchena Island Darwin Island
Rabida Island Santa Cruz Island Santiago Island San Cristobal Seymour Norte
  Santa Fe Island Santa Maria Island Pinzon Island  
Genovesa Island (Tower) - GalapagosGalapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)
Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)

Located in the northeast part of Galapagos, this relatively small island is a low-lying volcano rising just above the ocean surface. To reach this remote  location visitors journey across rough open waters during a lengthy 8-10 hour, all- night sail from Puerto Ayora. Tower is an oasis for sea birds is well worth any discomfort caused by the crossing.

Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Having arrived at Tower entering into Darwin's Bay can be a challenge for the captain and crew, who must cross a shallow-narrow channel into the caldera itself to anchor at the base of the steep crater walls. Once inside the volcano birds are visible by the thousands.

Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Tower attracts an enormous number of pelagic seabirds that come there to nest. Great Frigatebirds, Red-Footed Boobies, Swallow-Tailed Gulls and Storm Petrels all breed here by the thousands.

Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Though there are two official visitor sites on the island, due to conservation concerns visits to Prince Philip's Steps are limited. Vessels with 12 passengers or less are the only ones permitted by the National Park Service. Most ships visit Darwin's Bay, which offers a fantastic opportunity to see the islands birds.

 

Vistor Sites

Darwin's Bay

Land Visit

Prince Philips Steps

Panga & Land Visit

Darwin Bay

Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Darwin Bay was created when the island's large crater collapsed below sea level. Landing on the white coral beach in the middle of the bay requires a wet landing. Once ashore the number of birds seems overwhelming, Masked Boobies soar overhead; Great Frigatebirds display their pouches while resting on the nearby rocks and plants, Mockingbirds scamper quickly across the sand. It's easy to see why Darwin Bay is a favorite of birders.

Beyond the beach a series of tide pools carved out of black volcanic rock offer Wandering Tattlers, Lava Gulls, Whimbrels and Turnstones a place to fish. Yellow-Crowned, Black-Crowned and Lava Herons and White and Yellow Warblers have also been seen in the area.

Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)The trail follows the coast through the Salt Bush and Mangrove nesting area of the Great Frigatebirds and Red-Footed Boobies . Unlike the Masked and Blue-Footed Boobies who nest on the ground, the Red-Footed Boobies can be seen nesting in trees between September and July. Boobies and Frigatebirds share an adversarial relationship. They nest in the same areas. Boobies frequently destroy the Frigatebird nests, while Frigatebirds feed on Booby eggs.

Continuing on the trail, visitors climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Bird watching from the trail includes sightings of Sharp-Beaked Finches, Large Cactus Finches, Large Ground Finches , Galapagos Doves and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.

Quick View

Landing:

Wet Landing

Highlights:

Red-Footed Boobies, Swallow-Tailed Gulls, Darwin's Finches, Great Frigatebirds, Masked Boobies

Conditions:

Easy Walk

Notes:

Landing is on one of the few coral beaches in the Galapagos

Prince Philips Steps

Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)Located on the eastern side of Darwin's Bay visiting Prince Phillips Steps begins with a scenic panga ride along the rocky cliff ledges. The ride permits an outstanding vantage point to view the island's many shore birds; Red-Billed Tropicbirds navigating their way into the small crevasses that harbor their nests, Red-Footed Boobies perch in the Palo Santo Trees, while Frigatebirds fly endlessly searching for food.

Reaching the shore the dry landing is at the base of the steep rocky steps named after his Royal Highness Prince Philip who visited the island in the Galapagos Islands - Genovesa Island (Tower)1960's. The climb up the stairs is fairly easy for those with good balance, and a handrail helps make the journey more manageable. At the top of the steps the trail becomes relatively flat and bird life abounds.

Masked Boobies and Blue-Footed Boobies nest in in the rocks and on the ground while Great Frigatebirds, Magnificent Frigatebirds and Red-Footed Boobies nest in the trees and bushes.  Depending on the time of year it is possible to see thousands of birds nesting on Tower.

Tower is home to a variety of smaller birds living within the Palo Santo Trees, Lava Cactus and Lava Morning Glories. Galapagos Doves and the Tower species of the Galapagos Mockingbird are frequently seen. Four types of Darwin's Finches visible from this site including the Sharp-Beaked Ground Finch, Large Cactus Finch and the Warbler Finch and the Tower version of the Large Ground Finch with its heavy bill.

At the end of forest the trail reaches a lava field at the west end of the island. Here buzzing over the lava are thousands of small Wedge-Rumped Storm Petrels and Band-Rumped Storm Petrels looking for the crevice they make their home. Short-Eared Owls fly over the lava hunting their favorite meal, storm petrel eggs.

At the end of trail near the cliffs visitors are treated to even more birds. Red-Billed Tropicbirds, Blue-Footed Boobies, Audubon's Shearwaters, Noddy Terns, Red-Footed Boobies, Frigatebirds and Masked Boobies fill the air.

Quick View

Landing:

Dry Landing

Highlights:

Birds! Nesting Great Frigatebirds, Masked Boobies, Red-Footed Boobies, Blue-Footed Boobies, and Storm Petrels.

Conditions:

Steep steps leading to flat easy hike

Notes:

This is one of the best spots in the islands for bird lovers.
For more information on each of Galapagos Islands click on map or name
Baltra Island Bartolome Island Pinta Island Española Island Fernandina Island
Floreana Island Genovesa Island Isabela Island Marchena Island Darwin Island
Rabida Island Santa Cruz Island Santiago Island San Cristobal Seymour Norte
  Santa Fe Island Santa Maria Island Pinzon Island  
For a unique Galapagos Vacation, Galapagos Vacation Cruises &Tours proudly presents a collection of exceptional collections of cruise ships and boutique yachts for the travel packages that will make your visit to Galapagos Islands an treasured experience. Call us for your next Galapagos Vacations
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