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North Seymour Island

North Seymour is a small, flat island located near Baltra and Santa Cruz: it's possible to visit from Puerto Ayora as a day trip. It's a popular visitor site, as it is home to several species of birds as well as land and marine iguanas and sea lions.


The trail is about two and a half kilometers long and is rocky and treacherous in places. Following the trail along the beach, you should see blue-footed boobies and pelicans fishing, swallow-tail gulls and frigatebirds flying, and marine iguanas resting on the rocky shore. If you take a rest on the rocks and patiently look out at the sea, you will probably see a sea lion or two surfing the waves.


Regardless of the time of year you visit, you are likely to observe some kind of courtship, mating, nesting, or chick nesting on North Seymour. And since both boobies and frigatebirds often make their nests close to the trail, you may get a very good close-up shot. It's also not uncommon to catch frigates and boobies doing their courtship rituals. The snorkeling and diving at North Seymour is also excellent.


Further along the trail, you will see hordes of male frigate birds nesting--attracting females with their inflated red sack--and the occasional land iguana.


The land iguanas are found inland, where they feast on low-hanging cactus. Your guide will help you spot the bright yellow lizards among the plants and rocks off the trail. The iguanas here have an interesting history: they were brought here from Baltra in the 1930's, and they thrived. Later, the Baltra population of land iguanas went extinct, but was repopulated by bring some iguanas back.


The trail wends its way through a nesting site for Frigatebirds and Blue-Footed Boobys. It's stinky, but interesting and a good opportunity to see the Frigates showing off their bright red neck pouches.


The last part of the trail is a pleasant, easy walk along the beach. Look in the crashing surf to see sea lions frolicking.


The waters off of North Seymour Island provide some of the best diving and snorkeling opportunities in the islands. From the surface, you are bound to see white-tipped reef sharks, triggerfish, surgeonfish, and other colorful fish. If you are diving in the Canal, you are likely see a host of Galápagos garden eels, moray eels, and the occasional diamond, golden, or manta ray. At Punta, hunt for white-tipped reef sharks and moray eels in caves and crevices.





Highly Probable to See:

  • Blue-Footed Booby
  • Frigatebird
  • Sea Lions
  • Marine Iguanas
  • Land Iguanas


Probable to see:

  • Swallow-tailed gull
  • Brown Pelican


Possible to see:

  • Red-billed Tropic Bird

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Galápagos Island Visitor Sites: Baltra, Darwin & Wolf, Southern Island Visitor Sites, Central Island Visitors Sites, Mosquera Islet, Marchena, North Seymour, Daphne Major and Minor, Other Visitor Sites on Santa Cruz and Santiago.

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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