North Seymour Island is a small 0.73 square miles island in the Galapagos archipelago, near Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island, formed through the seismic uplifting of an underwater lava formation. It was named after Lord Hugh Seymour, a British admiral.
The island is among the most visited destinations for the Galapagos islands cruises, a real haven for sea birds. There's a picturesque circular 1.2 miles trail you can follow across the island, pas a sea lions colony, to the coastline and back to the landing site. It is home to the archipelago's largest colonies of Great and Magnificent frigate birds. One of the attractions you can enjoy on your birdwatching tour here is watching the blue-footed boobies' mating dance, with the males strutting and showing off their colored feet. The best time of the year for your tour in order to admire this magnificent birds' courtship dance would be from June to August.
On North Seymour you can also spot other wildlife species like sea lions, land and marine iguanas. The land iguanas of the island have a rather interesting story, as in the 1930s there weren't any on North Seymour. The naturalist Allan Hancock decided to bring some species here from the neighboring Baltra Island, and the population flourished. In the 1950s however, Baltra Island's land iguanas went extinct, and so they were reintroduced from North Seymour, and nowadays both islands have a large and thriving population of land iguanas.
The waters surrounding the island are rich in nutrients, so there are excellent diving and snorkeling spots near North Seymour, perfect for observing tropical fish, garden eels, sea lions, reef sharks, sea turtles and rays.
The tectonic origin of the island makes the landscape vary from eroded flat rocks, the highest point on North Seymour being of just 92 ft, to steep cliffs falling abruptly into to ocean. The vegetation is rather arid, made of gray saltbushes, cacti, Palo Santo trees and holy stick trees.
Mosquera Islet is a visitor site between North Seymour Island and Baltra Island, famous for having one of the largest populations of sea lions in Galapagos. It also features a beautiful white sand beach and a great site for snorkeling and diving.
North Seymour is uninhabited, so there aren't any hotels or restaurants on the island. But is is very close to the town of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island or to Baltra Island, which will definitely by a stop on your Galapagos islands cruise.
North Seymour Fast Facts:
- North Seymour's origin is not volcanic, but formed as a result of seismic activity.
- North Seymour is home to the largest colonies of Great and Magnificient frigate birds.
- Land iguana's didn't exist on the island until the 1930s, when they were introduced here from Baltra Island.
Blue-Footed Booby, Brown Pelican, Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Frigatebirds, Galapagos Land Iguana, Galapagos Lava Lizard, Galapagos Marine Iguana, Galapagos Mockingbird, Galapagos Petrel, Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Sting Rays, Swallow-Tailed Gull