Highlights and main attractions of Fernandina Island

Known to be the most pristine of the larger Galapagos Islands, the unique Fernandina Island, named for King Fernando of Spain who sponsored the Columbia, is the youngest and most volcanically active island in the archipelago. It’s location to the west of Isabela Island and the furthest from the mainland makes this one of the least visited of all the Galapagos Islands. The ever-changing landscapes caused by volcanic eruptions every few years keep the island scarce of vegetation, leaving it with a surreal, end-of-the-earth atmosphere.

An island like no other, a visit here is essential to anyone with passions for geology and wildlife.

Where is Fernandina Island?

Location and Activities

Fernandia’s numerous volcanic eruptions have led to a bizarre rocky landscape with lava fields bursting with cracks and fissures.  There is just the one visitor spot on the island, Punta Espinoza. After a dry landing you follow the sandy trails further inland watching the tenuous materials on the ground around you, punctuated, every now and then, by lava cactus – one of the few plants that can survive in this fascinating terrain.

The harsh land conditions and lack of plant life has not, however, led to minimal wildlife. A visit here can mean seeing hundreds of marine iguanas as they gather on the black lava rocks and a wonderful sea lion nursery where you may come close to these unafraid mammals. Land iguanas live here too, but are rarely seen as they make their way from the rim of the volcano to the floor of the caldera where they nest; keep a lookout, you may get lucky! Fernandina is one of the few places in the word which has remained unaffected by introduced species. The lack of these pests or more aggressive, invasive animals or plants, has meant that species on the island, such as the endemic rice mouse, live here without fear of extinction any time soon.

Fernandina Island is only accessible on a Galapagos Cruise and we ensure that it is included on some of our itineraries so those interested can explore this relatively untouched land.

Along the coast there is ample mangrove forest, attracting the myriad bird species that can be spotted, including the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguins and pelicans.


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