Ecuador is known for its 4 worlds: the Andes, the Amazon, the Pacific Coast and the Galapagos Islands. This last region in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a veritable animal paradise. It’s on this archipelago, a Unesco World Heritage site, that we’d like to focus.
In particular, we’d like to take you on a tour of one of our favorite uninhabited islands, departing from Santa Cruz: Seymour Island.
North Seymour Island
Located about 1 hour by boat north of Santa Cruz, North Seymour Island has no human presence, which is why we love it so much. The island’s endemic fauna includes blue-footed boobies, land iguanas and, of course, the famous red-necked frigate birds.
Seymour wildlife observation
It’s worth visiting all year round, but even more so between February and April. During these three months, the males do their utmost to attract the females. It’s a real visual spectacle, as the male performs a dance and sings while inflating the red part of his neck to attract his lady. It’s almost as if a balloon is attached to him. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the young, covered in their white down.
Once you arrive on Seymour Island, the tour begins with a 40-minute to 1-hour hike. Accompanied by a naturalist guide, this is your chance to learn a little more about the environment around you. You’ll be able to get within a few meters of the wildlife, which is very unafraid and protected. The walk is quite hot, so our advice would be not to forget your sun protection, water and a hat. Properly equipped, this walk will be all the more enjoyable, so there’s no doubt that it’s well worth the effort.
Snorkeling with sea lions
The visit ends with a snorkeling session to get a little closer this time to the marine fauna. Either at Bachas beach, where it’s especially pleasant to swim, as the setting is heavenly and the water is turquoise and transparent. The second option is the Mosquera islet. This is an exceptional spot, as it’s one of the only places in Santa Cruz where you can swim with sea lions, and in surprisingly close proximity. It’s almost as if they’re dancing around you.
Although small, this island is marked by its natural wealth, making it one of our favorite excursions for travelers to the Galapagos.
More about Seymour
A small, rocky island:
Seymour Island is a small rocky island in the north of the Galapagos archipelago, about 2 kilometers from Baltra Island. This island is one of the main breeding grounds for blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Visitors can watch the birds building their nests and protecting their territory, as well as colonies of sea lions basking on the rocks.
Seymour Island also offers rugged, arid landscapes, with stunning rock formations sculpted by erosion and lava flows. Visitors can explore the hiking trails that wind through the island, past giant cacti, thorny shrubs and other plants adapted to life in an arid environment.
Rich marine life:
Seymour Island’s surrounding waters are also rich in marine life, making it a popular diving and snorkeling spot. Visitors can swim alongside rays, sea turtles and colorful tropical fish. Seymour Island is one of the most popular destinations for visits to the Galapagos because of its abundant wildlife and spectacular natural scenery.