A Travel Guide to Fernandina Island, Ecuador

Fernandina Island is also popularly known as the Narborough island and when compared to all the other islands, it is the third largest one and an island which was formed much later in the Galapagos group of Islands.

The main reason behind the formation of this Island was the Galapagos hotspot. FernandinaIslandd has active shield volcanoes that have been constantly erupting since April 11, 2009. It has the highest elevation point of 1,476 m which is approximately 4,843 feet and stretches across an area of 642 square kilometres.

Geology of Fernandina Island

It has a mountainous and rocky terrain which forms the main part of the geology of this island. Fernandina island does not have much of plant life due to the active volcanic eruptions and the entire surface being rocky.

History of Fernandina island

Way back in 1684, buccaneer Ambrose Cowley who hailed from England, created Fernandina island on the navigational charts and maps for the first time. Initially, it was named Narborough Island by him. It derived its name in honour of Sir John Narborough who was the Naval commander belonging to the Naval army back in the 17th century.

Later on, this Island got the name Fernandina which is of Spanish origin and named after the then king of Spain, King Fernando. He became popular after he sponsored for Christopher Columbus’ voyage.

This Island is popular for its ever-erupting volcano which causes dramatic changes to the surroundings, vegetation, wildlife and the landscape. Way back in 1906, Fernandina Island became popular when the only giant tortoise was first discovered. Ever since then, people have been flocking to this magnificent Island.

Passengers from Silversea's luxury expedition cruise ship Silver Galapagos watch and photograph wildlife on beach on Fernandina Island
Passengers from Silversea’s luxury expedition cruise ship Silver Galapagos watch and photograph wildlife on the beach, Fernandina Island
Things to do
  • Fernandina Island has a lot of things to do for both kids and adults. Tourists and visitors from all over the world who come to Fernandina island can have a look at the borders of the volcanic crater.
  • The Black Lava rocks attract several hundreds of marine iguanas which offers a unique experience and a magnificent sight. All of this can be viewed from the Punta Espinoza.
  • Fernandina Island is also home to some famous inhabitants such as the sea lions, penguins, pelicans, seahorses, varieties of rays and sharks, sea turtles and lots more. This Island is also home to some of the most poisonous snakes, land iguanas, crabs, Galapagos hawks, corals and more.
  • Another major point of interest at the Fernandina island is that visitors can observe the two different types of the lava flow that erupts during an active volcanic eruption.
  • Fernandina Island is home to the densest mangrove forests and a variety of medicinal herbs and plants.
How to go there

Ecuador tourism offers Cruises for tourists and visitors to access Fernandina island. This Island can be reached only on a Galapagos Cruise. This Island is far away from the other group of islands and it is not easy to reach there through the day trip.

The cruises that take you to Fernandina island are cost-effective, comfortable to travel in and quite convenient. The cost of the Cruise covers all kinds of activities like those of snorkelling and kayaking.

You can also go swimming alongside the sea lions in the cool waters of the island if the weather is just right. The local island travel guides can offer a wealth of information when it comes to moving in and around the island.

Two flightless cormorants and a marine iguana on Fernandina Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Two flightless cormorants and a marine iguana on Fernandina Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
What is it known for?

Fernandina Island is known for the abundance of wildlife, active volcanoes, tranquil beaches, stunning vistas, the natural habitat of wildlife and birds, and lots more. The animals and birds roam about freely without being afraid of their surroundings and human beings. The sea lions are quite friendly.

Fernandina Island is an excellent vacation destination for bird lovers where they can spot different types of these feathered friends on the Punta Espinoza.

Read more: The other islands of the Galapagos

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