Most of the Galapagos Islands are located very close to the Equator Line in the Southern Hemisphere. Genovesa Island is one of the few in the Northern Hemisphere. This fact influences the water temperature and the adaptation of some species. The prickly pear cacti here have soft spines due to the lack of terrestrial reptiles that would eat them. Similarly, the lack of a top predator like the Galapagos hawk means that a nocturnal animal like the short-eared owl hunts during the day. Genovesa also has the smallest marine iguanas in the Galapagos.
National Geographic Islander II
Today we embarked on an early morning exploration of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island. As we stepped onto the shores, the scene left a strong impression on us. Dozens of marine iguanas were sprawled in the sunlight, absorbing its rays. With each step we treaded cautiously, mindful not to disturb their peaceful sunbathing. Our excitement peaked as we searched for the Galapagos hawk, the apex predator of the islands. Our efforts were rewarded when we spotted not one, but two hawks! What made the encounter truly special was the proximity at which we observed them. This afternoon, we embarked on a Zodiac exploration along the coast of Isabela Island, making our way to Punta Vicente Roca. The scenery was breathtakingly dramatic, with the majestic Ecuador Volcano towering beside us. We saw everything we had hoped for and more. Curious to hear my guests’ desires, I asked them about their preferences. One mentioned a desire to see turtles, and almost on cue, a solitary turtle emerged from the depths. Then, as if the Galapagos were attuned to our wants, another guest mentioned her wish to see a Nazca booby, and soon we found ourselves very near a cliff with blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies. The simple beauty of the natural setting made the excursions to Punta Espinoza and Punta Vicente Roca a memorable experience in the Galapagos.