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Punta Suarez

Visitors have a dry landing (often having to sidestep marine iguanas and sea lions resting on the jetty and on the adjacent rocks) that passes into a small, white-sand beach. There are a couple of sandy beach areas and a monument which is also a popular perch for the Galapagos hawk. The trail is a loop: your guide may lead you to the left, along the beach and into the interior or to the right, along the rocky coast. Either way, you'll get to see the whole trail.


Heading counter-clockwise along the coastal trail, you pass colonies of blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies nesting on the cliffs, most likely spot a finch or two, and probably locate a few seabirds—the red-billed tropicbird or swallow-tailed gull—flying offshore. You immediately learn to avoid the lava lizards darting under your feet and Hood mockingbirds begging for water.


Next, you walk down the rocky steps to the beach where waves crash up on the rocks in a breathtaking display and where hordes of marine iguanas monitor the eggs they have laid between the months of January and March. If you arrive when the eggs begin to hatch, chances are you will see a Galápagos hawk hovering around this area, waiting to prey upon the new hatchlings.


Just beyond lies a flat section of the trail, an “airport” where, from late March until late December, waved albatrosses can take flight, land, await the return of their mates from the mainland, or proceed with their elaborate courting rituals.


Further along the trail is a blowhole, a slit in the rocky coastline through which waves force water to spout about 20 meters in the air. Here you can sit on the cliff and watch the spectacle, relax and reapply sunscreen (you have probably already been walking for an hour!), and watch seabirds flying overhead.


The rocky trail back to the beach cuts inland through the dry vegetation of the island, where an albatross or a land iguana may be hiding. This part of the trail is the hardest, as the rocks can be treacherous and it gets very hot during certain times of the year.

Trail Difficulty: 4/5. One of the toughest trails in Galapagos, the Punta Suarez trail includes a scamper up from the coast to the cliff and goes over some large, rounded boulders where it's possible to turn your ankle. Reasonably fit people will have no problem: older travelers will want a good walking stick.




Highly Probable to see:

  • Hood Lava Lizard
  • Blue Footed Booby
  • Waved Albatross (except January to March)
  • Masked/Nazca Booby
  • Marine Iguana
  • swallow-tailed gull
  • Hood Mockingbird
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs



Probable to see:

  • Darwin finches
  • Galapagos flycatcher
  • sea turtles (swimming off shore)
  • dolphins
  • Galapagos hawk
  • Brown Pelican
  • Frigatebord





Possible to see:

  • Galapagos snake
  • red-billed tropic bird
  • Audubon's shearwater
  • American Oystercatcher

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Galápagos Island Visitor Sites: Puerto Egas Visitor Site, Floreana Visitor Site: La Loberia/Sea Lions Area, Post Office Bay Visitor Site, Champion Islet Visitor Site, More Isabela Visitor Sites, Punta Cormorant - Floreana Visitor Site, Gardner Bay/Tortuga Rock Visitor Site and Buccaneer Cove.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
27 Jan 2010

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