Today we woke up on Española Island, also known as Hood Island. This is a popular tourist destination due to the unique wildlife and stunning natural scenery. We started our morning with a pre-breakfast kayak. We enjoyed stunning views and the company of the sea lion pups that followed us.
After a delicious breakfast, we enjoyed a talk on board followed by snorkeling and swimming. In the afternoon, we finally headed to Punta Suarez, located on the island's western side. Española is the only place in the world where the waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) breeds. These magnificent birds arrive on the island in April and begin their courtship rituals, which involve elaborate dances and bill clapping displays. The albatrosses mate and lay eggs in May. Our guests witnessed the eggs, the mating dances, and these beautiful animals in the air. Albatrosses depart the island in December to return to their feeding grounds in the open ocean.
Española is also home to a large population of sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki). These playful and curious creatures can be seen lounging on the island's beaches, swimming in the surrounding waters, and even playing with our guests during snorkeling. In addition to albatrosses and sea lions, Española is home to a variety of other unique and endemic species, including Española mockingbirds, Española lava lizards, Galápagos hawks, marine iguanas, and a variety of seabirds, such as blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies.
We ended our day with a magnificent sunset. What a wonderful day we had on Española.