There are unique diving opportunities at both of the island’s landmarks: Great Darwin Bay and Lake Arcturus. Here, you’ll get the chance to see sea lions, seals, or even hammerhead sharks in their natural habitats. Genovesa is not only for water lovers, however. Also known as Bird Island, it is home to an incredible amount and variety of bird colonies, including blue-footed boobies, storm petrels, swallow-tailed gulls, and Galapagos mockingbirds. Just follow the path known as Prince Philip’s Steps that leads through the seabirds colonies’ homes. Multi-day tours of the Galapagos are the best way to visit Genovesa.
Things to know before you go
- This island is a must-visit for bird enthusiasts who should be on the lookout for red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves along Prince Philip’s Steps.
- The island’s terrain is considered easy to moderate in difficulty.
- Prince Philip's Steps, which are steep, are limited to smaller ships since the area is too fragile to accommodate larger groups.
How to get there
Genovesa Island is the northeasternmost island of the Galapagos and is somewhat of an outlier. If you’ve flown into the Baltra airport, check out boat services to Genovesa. Otherwise, book a cruise of the Galapagos that follows a north-central route. Typically, these tours feature an itinerary that includes a day at Genovesa where you can explore Prince Philip’s Steps and Darwin Bay.
When to get there
If you’re traveling to Genovesa to go birdwatching, March and April are the best months to see the frigatebird mating season. This is when the males show off their bright red pouches, which they inflate to attract females. And in August, swallow-tailed gulls nest; this is also a good time to spot red-footed boobies, but keep in mind that there are few frigatebirds at this time.
Birdwatching in the Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands attract birdwatchers from around the world, thanks to the many endemic species. And although the Galapagos is a year-round destination, the birds follow particular mating, nesting, and feeding cycles, so visiting at the right time can be crucial, depending on which birds you’re interested in seeing. But because the islands are home to a plethora of birds, you’re bound to spot some, no matter when you visit.
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