Adventure Cruises in Gardner Bay

Gardner Bay is one of two visitor centers on the Island of Española, the southernmost Galapagos Island. Adventure cruises to Gardner Bay are popular because the white sand beaches hold sea lions and a variety of bird species, including the world famous albatross that nests at the bay from April to December. Turtles and Blue Footed Boobies frolic in the bay and the water is teeming with tropical fish.

The island is one of the oldest in Galapagos, and is estimated to be an incredible four million years old. It was formed from a single caldera in the island’s center, as if it simply spewed itself into existence. Swimming, snorkeling and diving in the pure blue water are the most common adventure activities at Gardner Bay.

Top Things to do and see at Gardner Bay

The beach is a major attraction in Gardner Bay. It’s one of the longest in Galapagos stretching 2 kms of beautiful white sand for lounging, playing, and taking in the sea lions strewn about. You can enjoy a peaceful relaxing time on the beach, or hike the 1 km trail for unforgettable views of the island and sea. You’ll surely have an animal sighting in your travels at Gardner Bay.

If you’re specifically looking for a wildlife encounter in Gardner Bay, you have several options in this diverse ecosystem. See three species of Darwin’s finches and the island’s own mockingbirds who are aptly named. They frequently swoop down, perch, and interact with guests looking for a tourist who wants to share a snack. The albatrosses also nest at Gardner Bay from April to December, and this alone brings travelers from all over the world.

The animals at Gardner Bay aren’t just on land, however. Swimming, kayaking, and snorkeling are also very popular ways to interact with the natives. Guests can expect to see green sea turtles year round, and catch them nesting between January and March. Some of the many tropical fish that call the bay home are Yellow-tailed Surgeon fish, King Angelfish, and Bump-head Parrotfish. Impressive Manta Rays and Spotted-Eagle Rays will take your breath away, not to mention the White-tipped Reef Sharks. Gardner Bay sea lions like to swim too, and you might get a chance to enjoy the sea with them!

Top Tips for visiting Gardner bay

  • Most birders will come prepared with binoculars to catch a close peek at the albatros or boobies in Gardner Bay. An excellent camera is also recommended to make lasting memories that go beyond simple selfies.
  • Bringing a waterproof protective sleeve for your smartphone and a dry bag for all of your electronics is a great idea. It can be exciting to find yourself in a Gardner Bay wildlife encounter and you don’t want to ruin your device by dropping it in the drink.
  • Your dive guides will have some snorkeling gear, but bring your own mask if you have one and water shoes. If your water shoes aren’t rugged, you’ll need some sensible footwear for walking the beautiful white beaches.
  • Finally, a day bag with a reusable water bottle will come in handy.

Best time to cruise to Gardner Bay

Don’t worry about picking the right time to visit Gardner Bay on your small ship cruise. You can plan ahead easily by understanding the two basic seasons Gardner Bay and Galapagos experiences. December through May is the warm or wet season and June through November is the dry season.

The best time to visit Gardner Bay to see wildlife depends on which animals you’d like to see. The waved albatross nest from April to December. The sea turtles, on the other hand, nest between January and March. Even during the off seasons, there are plenty of animals all over the Bay.

Adventure activities can be timed to the weather as well, since everything does have it’s season at Gardner Bay. Gardner Bay in December through May is the warm season with plenty of sun. It’s the best time for hiking and laying on the beach. June to November is the best time in Gardner Bay for for snorkeling because the water is warm and clear.

Where do Gardner Bay cruises depart from?

Currently, most small ship cruises to the Galapagos take off for other island adventures from Puerto Ayora, Baltra or San Cristobal. Check your cruise itinerary to confirm that this is the case for the cruise you’ve booked with us, as this is subject to change.

Most international visitors will fly into either Quito or Guayaquil on Mainland Ecuador and continue on a domestic flight to the island nearest to your departure point. You’ll be met by your dive instructors who will welcome you and guide you to your magnificent yacht.

Our reservations team are available to help arrange your next Galapagos Adventure Cruise to Gardner Bay. Contact us today

Gardner Bay Reviews

  • 8.5 Fabulous
  • 12 Verified Reviews
  • 8.0 Very good
  • Roger B
  • United States United States

Very nice beach. Snorkeling not so good. Sharing beach with sea lions was fun.

Cruising Gardner Bay in May on the EcoGalaxy

  • 8.4 Very good
  • anja B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

super good (jump from boat and hunting sharks in the evening)

Cruising Gardner Bay in February on the Golondrina

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Peter D
  • Belgium Belgium

Enjoyed swimming with sea lions.

Cruising Gardner Bay in June on the Alya