North Seymour Island is a favorite amid travelers for its wildlife and marine life. The small island is twenty minutes from Santa Cruz Island, making it an ideal day trip that combines adventure on land and beneath the sea.
The island was formed by shifting plates beneath the ocean that pushed the floor to the surface. It’s a small flat island that is home to a plethora of flora and fauna.
Landing at the beach, two trails lead circumvent the island, following the coast past sea lions and marine iguanas, and turning inland towards the frigate colony. Along the trail, blue-footed boobies nest, performing their awkward mating ritual and showing off their feet in the hopes of attracting a mate. The island is also home to a large population of land iguanas, seen resting in the shade of the red brush.
Farther up the trail, frigate birds start appearing in the trees and bushes performing their own mating ritual by inflating the red pouch under their chin to the size of a basketball. The males’ drum on the pouch with their bills to attract partners.
The Mosquera Islet, located in a channel between Seymour and Balta Islands, is the place to observe sea lions tending to their pups while sally lightfoot crabs scurry across the white-sand beach. The channel is a great place to dive and snorkel as its calm waters are easy to navigate alongside sea lions and turtles, marine iguanas, eels, and rays; who feed off of the thousands of small, colorful reef fish that are attracted to the nutrient-rich waters.
The waters around the point are more exposed to the ocean’s currents, and attract hammerhead sharks amid massive schools of fish, eagle rays, and garden eels.
In the 1930’s the Smithsonian’s Handcock Expedition transferred 70 land iguanas to Seymour from the nearby Balta Island. Today, the population numbers close to 2500.
The color of the blue-footed booby’s feet comes from the fresh fish they eat. The brighter the feet, the healthier the bird.
Frigate birds dive bomb boobies with a fresh catch to make them drop the fish, then swoop down and grab their meal before it hits the water.
North Seymour Island
Activity-Exploring the coast and interior of North Seymour along an easy path that circles the island
Wildlife-Blue–footed booby and frigate colonies, land iguanas, sea lions, and red-billed tropicbirds
The Mosquera Islet
Activity-Snorkeling and diving
Wildlife-Reef and Galapagos sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, sting and manta rays, eels, barracudas, and sea turtles
Breeding colonies for blue-footed boobies, and frigate birds
Home to one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos
Snorkel and dive with thousands of colorful fish, sea lions, reef sharks, sea turtles, sting and manta rays, eels, barracudas, and hammerhead sharks
Note: All information is intended as a general guide of what you might be able to see or do on this island. In reality, wildlife sightings are by nature unpredictable, and activities may be subject to change by your guide or the National Park Authority.
For more information about your options for land-based and cruise trips through the Galapagos Islands, contact a member of our team using our toll-free numbers or the contact form on this site.