As we neared the end of our expedition onboard National Geographic Islander II, we navigated northeastward from Sullivan Bay to the horseshoe-shaped Genovesa Island, aka Tower Island.

As we woke in the morning we were anchored at Darwin Bay, a submerged volcanic crater. We then took our Zodiacs to shore and landed on Darwin Bay beach for a peaceful walk surrounded by marine bird colonies, having the opportunity to interact  closely with them. Famously known as “Bird Island” Genovesa holds a great number of marine bird colonies, including that of the red-footed booby.

As the morning continued, we went kayaking and snorkeling in the warm water. We then visited El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, named after Prince Phillip who visited in 1964 and again in 1981. After a dry landing and a 25 meter climb up stairs made of lava rocks, we were greeted by colonies of red-footed and Nazca boobies, frigate birds, wedge-rumped storm petrels, and a short-eared owl (which is the top predator of this island).

Despite the fact that Charles Darwin never visited this island, Genovesa holds a unique flora and fauna composition, especially of marine birds.