Located in the northeast of the archipelago, Isla Genovesa covers 14sq.km/8.4sq.mi. The island is less visited than many of the others due to location and distance from the other islands.Genovesa is actually a single volcano which emerges 62m/200 ft above sea level. The moon shaped crescent of Darwin Bay on the south side of the island is actually a caldera. There is also a crater lake in the middle of this small island.Nesting birds on this island include masked boobies, red-footed boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, Galápagos owls, Galápagos doves frigates, swallow-tail gulls, lava herons, and the rare lava gulls. Also commonly seen on the island are sea lions and fur seals. Hammerhead sharks can found in the waters around the island.
Located in the northern group of islands, Pinta reaches an elevation of 800 m (2,560 ft). It is the ninth largest island in the Galápagos. There are no visitor sites on the island and only those researchers with permits are allowed on the island.Pinta once had a large tortoise population but fishermen and whalers along with the introduction of goats to the island in the late 1950s decimated the population. Only one lone male tortoise of the race survives. He is held in captivity at the Charles Darwin Research Station and has so far refused to mate with tortoises of different races.
Charles (Santa Maria Island)
Floreana is the southeastern-most island and one of the smaller of the major islands. Rising to 640 m (2000 ft) the island is home to several vegetation zones. An artesian spring, which supplies the island with fresh water, led to the early colonization of the island in the 19th C. The long history of colonization has had a negative effect on the flora and fauna, including the extinction of the Floreana race of giant tortoises. Flamingos may sometimes be seen in Flamingo Bay or sea turtles near Cormorant Point.
Measuring only 7 by 14 km (4.2 by 8.4 mi) Española is the oldest Galápagos island. With a maximum elevation of 200 m (640 ft) the island is dry and has no permanent source of fresh water. Consequently it was never settled. Seabirds are abundant on the island, which maintains the largest known colony of waved albatross. It is also home to the red-billed tropicbird as well as marine iguanas with bright red coloration.Also of interest on the island is a blowhole produced through cracks in the rocks along the shore which spout water with the incoming waves.
Fernandina, the third largest island, is a single volcano with a maximum elevation of 1400 m (4500 ft). The most recent eruptions occurred in 1988, 1991, and 1995, leaving a caldera 344m (1100 ft) deep.There is a visitor site at Punta Espinosa, across the channel from Tagus Cove on Isabela. Two trails from the landing site lead through the lava fields. Common sights on the island include marine and land iguanas, tortoises, Galápagos penguins, hawks, sea lions, and a variety of sea birds, including flightless cormorants.
Marchena is one of the three smaller islands in the northern group and is the seventh largest island in the Galápagos. It is off limits to tourists except for divers in the nearby waters. The island is dry and desolate and has never been settled and is not inhabited by tortoises.
Darwin Island, located next to Wolf Island in the far north of the chain of islands, is just the tip of a much larger volcano. At its highest point the island reaches an elevation of 165 m (528 ft). The island is inhabited only by sea birds and is rarely visited.
Located to the north of archipelago, Wolf Island, like neighboring Darwin Island, is just the tip of a much larger volcano. The island rises to 250 m (800 ft) at its highest point. The island is not one of those usually visited and is only inhabited by sea birds.
There are no visitor sites on Pinzón. Large cliffs make landing difficult and a permit is required to visit the island.