Adventure Cruises in Espanola Island

Espanola Island is a beautiful destination in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and a must-see place on any of the Galapagos cruises you choose. It lies to the southeast of the archipelago and is a favorite travel spot for lovers of naturalist tours. It’s easy to see native animals such as marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the waved albatross.

Adventure cruise fans also favor Espanola, as it is a great place to take small yachts for a spin. Sea goers have a host of small luxury yachts to choose from since tourism and boating are popular pastimes for the region.

The small island is 23 square miles and its highest point rises 675.6 feet (206m) above sea level. Experience the unique flat landscape with small, gentle hills shaped by volcanic activity from the water for amazing views. Don’t forget to soak up some of that famous Galapagos sun.

Top things to do and see on Espanola Island

Suarez Point is a popular place on the seafront of Espanola, especially for birding and naturalist tours. The striking blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, and Hood mockingbirds call the area home and make for incredible Galapagos wildlife encounters. In fact, the albatrosses use a nearby cliff as a launching spot, letting visitors watch them soar into the air in breathtaking fashion.

The sight the birds set is truly incredible. Albatrosses are large grey and white birds that are easy to spot, but the sheer number of them appears like a blanket at times on the landscape. The beautiful plumage almost seems to be artist created as it fades from deep grey to brilliant white, including the bird’s feet!

The most famous attraction at Suarez Point is the incredible blowhole that shoots water straight into the air at an impressive height. It’s as if the earth has a pressure valve directly on-site and visitors can see this in all its awesome splendor. It’s the power of the earth before your very eyes.

All in all, Suarez Point is a nature lover or photographer’s dream. Experienced hikers should also take note and head out for a 1.9-mile hike through the Point. It’s rated difficult, so best saved for top-notch contenders.

Across the island on the eastern side is Gardner Bay. Even more, albatrosses are in store for visitors here. Nearly every one of them in existence, approximately 12,000 pairs, breed in this spot every year. As if that isn’t enough, the expanse of white sand beach is constantly peppered with sea lions.

It’s easy to understand why travelers favor Gardner Bay for snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, and dinghy rides. The hiking trail here is much easier than Suarez Point and suitable for different experience levels.

It’s equally clear why Darwin was so fascinated with the Galapagos Islands. There is such a vast array of creatures that call the islands home. Have your camera ready for the best moments of your adventure cruise and personal Galapagos wildlife encounter.

Speaking of Darwin, nature lovers can’t miss The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) on Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos. This active breeding center and research station is both educational and another ideal spot for photography lovers.

Best time to cruise Espanola Island

Espanola has only two seasons. The warm season is between December and May and the dry season between June and November. Both have their strong points, but you’ll want to plan ahead to pick the best time to visit to see wildlife or to have your own famous Galapagos wildlife encounter.

During the warm season, visitors to Galapagos in December will see a sky that is always clear and full of the bright sun. Rain falls more frequently in Galapagos in February, March, and April.

Come to Galapagos in June, however, and you’ll experience slightly cooler weather but the best diving conditions. This ideal diving season continues in Galapagos through July, August, September, and November.

If you have your heart set on seeing the albatrosses during the breeding season, which is April through November. Avoid the chance of rain by timing your birding trip in May, when the weather should be warm and dry.

Where do Espanola Island cruises depart from?

Finding out how to get to the Galapagos is essential to your plan. Before you set out on your small luxury yacht for the adventure cruise of your life, you have to get to Ecuador.

From Ecuador, travelers will fly into the Galapagos from Quito in the Andes mountains or Guayaquil on the coast. The two main airports in Galapagos are Baltra, a small island north of Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal, the archipelago's easternmost island. You can depart on a Galapagos cruise from Puerto Ayora or Baltra with ease.

The airports are spartan, but have everything travelers need to be safe and secure while arriving and departing. Just don’t plan on reliable wifi.

Please contact our reservations team to book your next adventure cruise to Espanola Island in the Galapagos Islands.

Espanola Island Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 18 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nancy T
  • United States United States

My favorite of the cruise with blue and masked boobies, red iguanas and sea turtles.

Diving Espanola Island in March on the EcoGalaxy

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kirsten P
  • United States United States

Like Genovesa, Espanola is truly special. The excursions on land and in the water were beyond amazing - we were so lucky with the wildlife on both excursions

Diving Espanola Island in July on the Solaris

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Clayton K
  • United States United States

There were many different types of wildlife on this island.

Diving Espanola Island in December on the Anahi

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Julie L
  • United States United States

Poor - rough surf, very poor snorkeling conditions and few fish.

Diving Espanola Island in February on the Infinity

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Richard R
  • United States United States

Beautiful island full of wildlife.

Diving Espanola Island in April on the Archipel I

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Richard O
  • United States United States

These were the best. Breeding boobies, nursing sea lions, and albatross pairs sitting on eggs. Amazing! Not to mention the iquanas…

Diving Espanola Island in May on the Infinity

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Mark B
  • United States United States

Gardiner Bay beach was a spectacular walk. Suarez Point walk was very interesting to see the different types of boobies, the albatrosses and the blow hole. Very enjoyable.

Diving Espanola Island in September on the Reina Silvia Voyager

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Christine K
  • United States United States

Flies took away from experience, nothing to do about that. Guide offered bug wipes

Diving Espanola Island in December on the Galapagos Legend

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Elizabeth H
  • United States United States

The Gardner Bay beach was super beautiful with loads of sea lions lounging around and great opportunities to get photos.

Diving Espanola Island in January on the Solaris

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Erica K
  • United States United States

The wildlife and landscape viewed on the beautiful hike in Santa Cruz was amazing. So many birds, boobies, hawks, heron, etc. around the cliffs.

Diving Espanola Island in March on the Treasure of Galapagos

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Roger B
  • United States United States

Hike to Suarez point was wonderful. Seeing nesting boobies and albatross. Very scenic.

Diving Espanola Island in May on the EcoGalaxy

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tjeerd D
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Great to see Albatrosses, and the cliffs and the blow hole.

Diving Espanola Island in April on the Nemo II

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Peter D
  • Belgium Belgium

Major highlights of trip by seeing Albatros and their nests with egg.

Diving Espanola Island in June on the Alya