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Genovesa Island

Also known as the Island of Birds, and lives up to its name because here we can observe a great variety of birds that stand out for their colorful feathers and shapes, among the species that we can find are the lava gulls, yellow crowned and lava herons, curlews and other birds that feed near the shorebirds, Darwin’s finches, masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds that nest on this island.
The youngest area from the geological point of view of the island is located in this area. The cliffs located in the south are formed by very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has made them an ideal nesting site for storm swallows.
Its name comes from Genoa, the city where Christopher Columbus is said to have been born, formed by the remaining edge of a large crater that is submerged, Genovesa Galapagos Island is known as “The Island of Birds” and certainly lives up to its name. Its volcano, although there are no recorded eruptions present, has young lava flows on its flanks, and a boat ride along the crater walls reveals the variety of animals that find refuge in the ledges and crevices of the lava. This island also offers great diving.
Genovesa Island occupies about 14 km2 and its maximum elevation is 64 meters and is located in the northeastern part of the Galapagos archipelago.

The horseshoe-shaped island has a 600-meter volcanic caldera whose wall has collapsed and has a depth of 60 meters, forming the beautiful and large Darwin Bay which is surrounded by cliffs. Within the center of the crater is located the Arcturus Lagoon, which is full of salt water and the sediments in its crater are less than 6000 years old. Relax on its beautiful white sand beach and ascend to its viewpoint.
Although there are no known historical eruptions of Genovesa, there are relatively young lava flows on the flanks of the volcano.
This outlying island is located in the northeastern part of the archipelago.
It also has a white sand beach located south of Genovesa Island, bordering the caldera of the inactive volcano that submerged thousands of years ago.
Around this paradisiacal beach frigate birds, red-footed boobies and seagulls fly, stopping to rest on the rock cliffs. In the sea you will find rays, sea lions, sharks swimming close to the island.
Behind the bay in the center of the island, the Arcturus lagoon is full of salt water and the sediments in its crater are less than 6000 years old.
At this site, during high tide, most of the trail is covered with water. Do not get your shoes wet, so that you can make the entire trail without any discomfort and problems.
Once you cross the frigate bird nesting area, the trail continues over a lava platform and up the cliff.
Do not step on the vegetation or enter the salt bush (Cryptocarpus pyriformis); swallow-tailed gulls (Creagrus furcatus) nest under these thickets and on the beach, where it is quite possible to step on the birds or their eggs.
The birds at this site are generally very tame and do not seem to be bothered much by the proximity of visitors. However, as a general rule, they should not be approached closer than 2 meters.
Genovesa has remained undisturbed by man due to its geographic isolation and lack of fresh water.
Be sure not to carry organisms on your clothes or shoes when you land on land, nor any kind of food, neither here nor on any other island.
Prince Philip’s Ladder is located at the southern tip of Genovesa Island in Bird Paradise. It is formed by the remaining edges of a large crater that has a distance of 1.5 kilometers and the approximate visiting time is about 2 hours, the tip is currently submerged almost entirely, where you can access through a gap that exists from the foot of the volcano.

The trail passes through mangroves full of land birds such as: frigate birds and their boisterous activity, pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, the only night gulls in the world and red-footed boobies, with red contracting feet and blue bills, lava gulls, yellow crowned and lava herons, curlews and other birds feed near the shorebirds, Darwin’s finches, masked boobies, red-billed tropicbirds that nest on this island, you can also observe two species of terns that nest in the cavities and hollows of the lava. One is the wood petrel that feeds during the night and the other is the Galapagos petrel that has its activity during the day, the latter is endemic, it is estimated that its population is more than 200,000 pairs.   One of its main predators is the barn owl. The red-footed booby nests only in the peripheral islands of the Archipelago, Punta Pitt, Gardner (Floreana), Wolf, Darwin and Genovesa.  The masked booby is also present on this island.

At the end of the road, there are beautiful landscapes that can be enjoyed from the top of a cliff, you can also enjoy the view of the pools that are filled with the tide, where sea lions swim and play.

During the panga rides on the cliffs you can observe fur seals and several species of sea birds.

The salinity levels are very high, so the local plants are adapted and can withstand these hypersaline conditions. The most representative are the Monte Salado, the Red Mangrove and the Morning Glory, as well as the abundant presence of forests of palo santo and some types of cactus.

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