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Genovesa Visitor Site: El Barranco/Prince Phillips’ Steps - Hiking - Ecuador

El Barranco (a.k.a. Prince Philip’s Steps)  is a memorable site located on the flat area above the cliffs in Darwin Bay. After a challenging scramble up a rocky crevasse, the rest of the trail is very easy.

The first part of the trail wends through some scrubby trees and brush where you’re likely to see some boobys (of all three varieties if you’re lucky), Frigatebirds and Galapagos doves. The trail then continues to a long stretch of rocky dune, on the ocean side of which it’s possible to see the Short-eared Owl. Although the Short-eared Owl is fairly common in Galapagos, they’re only seen at a handful of visitor sites, so make the most of the opportunity! They’re hard to spot, so be patient and stay close to the guide. If you have binoculars or a major zoom lens for your camera, this is the place for it.

Trail difficulty: 3/5: the first part is the hardest. If you can get up the crevasse onto the flat area on top, it’s easy.

Highly Probable to See:

  • Galapagos Sea Lion (when arriving)
  • Nazca Booby
  • Red-footed Booby
  • Frigatebirds
  • Galapagos Dove
  • Marine Iguanas

Probable to see:

  • Mockingbirds
  • Finches
  • Galapagos Fur Sea Lion (from the panga)
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Galapagos Petrel
  • Blue-footed Booby

Possible to see:

  • Red-billed Tropic Bird

Hiking



Here are other activities in and around Galápagos Island Visitor Sites that may be of interest: Los Gemelos, Academy Bay Boat Tour, Bartolome Island Visitor Site: La Escalera/The Stairs, Santiago Island Visitor Site: Sullivan Bay, Cerro Crocker, Genovesa Visitor Site: Darwin Bay, Floreana Visitor Site: Cerro Alieri/Alieri Hill , Punta Moreno, Lava Tunnels and Nearby Beaches.





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