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Genovesa Island


Galapagos tourists

This island is known more often by its English name of Tower. It covers 14 sq km and is the northeastern most of the Galapagos Islands. As it is an outlying island,

Tower is infrequently included on a one-week itinerary. If you have the time, however, and are interested in seabirds, this island is well worth the long trip. It is the best place to see a red-footed booby colony, and it provides visitors with the opportunity to visit colonies of great frigatebirds, red-billed tropicbirds. swallow-tailed gulls, masked boobies and many thou-sands of storm petrels.

Other bird attractions include Galapagos doves and shorteared owls. Both sea lions and fur seals are present and there are exciting snorkeling opportunities - hammerhead sharks are here.

The island is fairly flat and round, with a large, almost landlocked, cove named Darwin Bay on the south side.

VISITOR SITES

There are two visitor sites, both on Darwin Bay. Prince Philip's Steps (also called El Barranco) is on the eastern arm of the bay and can be reached with a dry landing. A steep and rocky path leads to the top of 25m-high cliffs, and nesting seabirds are sometimes found right on the narrow path.

At the top of the cliffs, the 1 km. long trail leads inland, past dry-forest vegetation and various seabird colonies, to a cracked expanse of lava, where thousands of storm petrels make their nests and wheel overhead. Short-eared owls are often seen here, and it is an excellent hike for the bird enthusiast.

Darwin Bay Beach is a coral beach reached by a wet landing. There is a 750m trail along the beach that passes through more seabird colonies.

You can take a pleasant panga ride along the cliffs. The panga is often followed by playful sea lions.

This recommended excursion gives a good view from the seaward side of the cliffs and of the birds nesting on them.

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