Popular Rabida Island cruise ships Explore all cruise ships
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Adventure Cruises in Rabida Island
Rabida Island Cruises are another exciting opportunity to experience Galapagos in an intimate way. Rabida is 1.9 sq. miles (4.9 sq km) and 2.5 million years old. It lies 1204 feet (367 meters) above sea level.
Adventure cruises to Rabida Island are very popular because of bountiful wildlife and the exceptionally unique red sand beaches. A high iron content from the volcanic landscape on Rabida is responsible for the unusual beach appearance. The sea lions don’t seem to mind- they lay about regularly on the rusty ground. Aside from the sand, the land is arid and cacti dot the surface among sloping volcanic cinder-cones. Even compared to the other Galapagos Islands, Rabida is a once in a lifetime sight.
Top things to do & see in Rabida Island
As you can see, there are many things to work into your adventure cruise to Rabida Island. Our small ship cruises make a wet landing at Rabida, which is also called Jervis Island. There is only one visitor’s center on the island to welcome you, and most of the island is natural without an overly touristy feel.
Many guests enjoy snorkeling among the rocks at the east end of the island near the famous red beach. In addition to the the sea lions on the land, you will also see vibrantly colored reef fish swim around you in the water and maybe even a white tipped shark. Some guests also encounter Galapagos dolphins, bottle-nosed dolphins, and manta rays.
Hiking is a popular activity along the red sand beach at Rabida Island and the 1 km trail is easy for most proficiency levels. The scenery is quite different from the other islands in the archipelago and worth the short trek over the landscape to catch.
Rabida Island is also known for its rich avian ecosystem and overall biodiversity. Flamingos, nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, masked and blue-footed boobies,brown pelicans, and white-cheeked pintail ducks are easy to spot while hiking down the beach near the salt brush, Galapagos cactus and palo santo trees. The cliffs are a striking black and red, towering behind you as the perfect photo backdrop.
Top Tips for visiting Rabida Island
If you’re a bird watcher on an adventure cruise to have a Rabida Island wildlife encounter with one of several species that live there, a good camera and a pair of binoculars are essential to your goals.
In addition to your birdwatching gear, we recommend the following ‘must have’ list for every guest to Rabida Island:
- Clothing to layer for climate shifts
- Sun protection
- A reusable water bottle
- A day bag for adventure activities off the ship
- Protective gear for your smartphone like a watertight pouch or similar
- Comfortable, rugged footwear and water shoes.
Best time to cruise Rabida Island
Every day is beautiful in the Galapagos, but you can plan ahead to make the most out of your trip. There are better times than others for some adventure activities such as snorkeling, hiking, and catching a glimpse of those famous brown pelicans.
Hiking is best during the warm season, which is December through May in Rabida Island. The weather is sunny and the skies are particularly blue. Rabida in May to December is the dry season, which is slightly less sunny.
The water is the clearest from June to November in Rabida Island, and this is the best time for snorkeling.
Most of the native wildlife hangs around all year. If you want to view the brown pelican nests, their breeding season peaks in March and April. Green Sea Turtles nest from January to March Blue Footed Boobie mating season happens in May.
Where do Rabida Island cruises depart from?
Currently, most Galapagos adventure cruises depart from Baltra or San Cristobal. Please check your specific cruise itinerary to confirm this, as changes can occur over time.
To begin your small ship cruise to Galapagos, you will fly into one of the two international airports in Ecuador: Quito or Guayaquil. Your guides will be there to meet you and show you to your luxury yacht. They’ll make you welcome and feed you before departing to your first destination.
Contact our reservations team today for help in booking your next Galapagos Cruise adventure.
Rabida Island Reviews
- 9.3 Superb
- 4 Verified Reviews
We enjoyed whale watching enroute to Rabida Island where we walked a soft, red sand beach to view pink flamingos and several other bird species. While snorkeling, we swam with sea lions and white tipped sharks.
Diving Rabida Island in February on the Nemo II
Good trekking tour on the red island with many animals along with the trail.
Diving Rabida Island in April on the Xavier III