Isla Fernandina, Galapagos Islands Cruise Port, 2019 and 2020 Cruises to Isla Fernandina, Galapagos Islands | The Cruise Web
 

Isla Fernandina, Galapagos Islands Cruise Port

The most western and "youngest" member of the Galápagos Islands, the fantastic cruise port of Isla Fernandina (or Fernandina Island) is the third largest of the famous archipelago and is known for its volcanic activity. In this instance, its "young" designation means it's fewer than one million years old; it did start appearing on navigational charts around 1684. Isla Fernandina's main feature is that it's a shield volcano: it's created mostly from fluid magma flows, which resemble a warrior's shield lying flat on the ground. The island had no human residents at the time it began to steadily erupt in April 2009 (and has been active ever since). That's not to say it wasn't busy before the 21st century. Early visitors noticed everything from smoking craters to complete eruptions, which has made plant life fairly scarce. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Isla Fernandina, Galápagos Islands:
 
  • Even though the volcano is a great source of excitement for visitors, you won’t be able to get too close; it’s just not safe. Instead, you’ll get to explore the outskirts of the crater.
     
  • The visitor site at Punta Espinosa is where you'll disembark to see most of the wildlife action on Isla Fernandina. As the most pristine of the Galápagos Islands, there is an abundance of animal life here. Keep an eye out for a plethora of Marine Iguanas (and mindful of their nesting spots), along with sea lions, penguins, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Flightless Cormorants, and more.
     
  • If you're looking for the small bit of plant life the island allows, Punta Espinosa is also the place to find that. The Lava Cactus, one of the first species known to actually grow on lava flows, survives with very little water (just like desert cacti). You'll find some decently-sized clumps of them in the area.
     
  • Divers and snorkelers will love exploring the waters around the island, both at Punta Espinosa and at Punta Mangle in the south. Look for sharks, rays, sea horses, dolphins, and sea cucumbers (which have been hunted illegally almost to extinction).

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