Genovesa Island is a 5 square miles island in the northeastern part of Galapagos, shaped like a horse-shoe, a great destination on your itinerary on the Galapagos islands cruise. It is known for its geological variety, its extraordinary beauty and the wonders of nature it offers. Its origin is volcanic, it is a shield volcano with a bay, the Great Darwin Bay, formed through the collapsing of a caldera wall. The island is relatively flat, its maximum altitude is 210 ft. It was named after the city of Genoa in Italy, the hometown of Christopher Columbus.
Genovesa is also called ""The Bird Island"" because of the diversity of birds that nest here, including lava herons, Nazca and red-footed boobies, puffball–chicks, storm petrels and Swallow–tailed gulls. On Genovesa there is the largest colony of red-footed boobies in Galapagos, around 200 000. You will be able to take amazing photographs on your birdwatching tour and you will have the chance to learn about the nesting and breeding habits of the amazing bird species on Genovesa.
Lake Arcturus is found in the middle of the island, a salt-water lake that has sediments approximately 6,000 years old.
Prince Phillip's Steps or El Barranco is a famous visitor site on the island where, at the end of a steep and rocky trail you are met by a beautiful vista. On your hike you'll most likely see mockingbirds, finches and maybe even the short-eared owl, a bird endemic to the archipelago, distinctive because it hunts during the day. Named after the British monarch Prince Philip, who visited the islands two times in the 1960s and the 1980s, the 81-foot naturally formed stairs with a handrail for safety lead to a plateau, through a forest of palo santo trees, to a wide lava field where you can spot wedge-rumped storm petrels. The picturesque tour will take about 2 hours.
From the coral beach at Darwin Bay, where you will disembark from your cruise, you can follow a half-mile path leading through mangroves where you can spot swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca and red-footed boobies, yellow-crowned herons, Galapagos doves, but also one of the world's rarest gulls, the endemic lava gull. Further on, there are tidal pools where you can encounter sea lions and a striking view awaits you at the end, on top of a cliff, overlooking Darwin Bay. The cliffs within the caldera are great for snorkeling and diving, the waters rich in nutrients attract a variety of marine wildlife, including sea lions, fur seals, sea turtles, starfish, various species of sharks and manta rays.
The only reptile on Genovesa Island is the marine iguana and, compared to the species on the other islands of Galapagos, it is the smallest in size.
Genovesa Island has a rather arid landscape, with flora made mostly of mangroves, scrub and bushes, with some Palo Santo trees and lava cacti.
The Island is uninhabited, so there aren't any hotels and restaurants, you will be staying and eating on your cruise ship.
Genovesa Fast Facts:
- Genovesa Island is also known as "The Bird Island", due to the diversity and vast number of birds nesting here.
- On Genovesa Island there is the largest population of red-footed boobies in Galapagos.
- Genovesa Island is actually a submerged volcanic crater, with the rim still partially above water.
American Oystercatcher, Blue-Footed Booby, Brown Pelican, Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Frigatebirds, Galapagos Fur Seal, Galapagos Green Turtle, Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Land Iguana, Galapagos Lava Gull, Galapagos Lava Heron, Galapagos Marine Iguana, Galapagos Mockingbird, Galapagos Petrel, Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Sharks, Galapagos Shearwater, Galapagos Short-eared Owl, Galapagos Sting Rays, Nazca Booby, Red-Billed Tropicbird, Red-Footed Booby, Swallow-Tailed Gull, Yellow-crowned Night Heron