Eden Islet

Located just off the northwestern shore of Santa Cruz Island, Eden Islet is a tiny tuff cone island with a diameter of about 2,000 feet. It may be small, but its name is well-deserved: Eden really is a little paradise, and a great place to spot an abundance of wildlife on land, in the air and in the water.

Main Visitor Sites

Eden Islet is restricted and does not have any landing sites. Visitors explore the island by panga, a type of boat common in the Galapagos, sailing around the shoreline to see the island’s various habitats. Despite its small size, Eden has at least three distinct landscapes, including a flat and largely barren area; a section with large cliffs; and a thick coastal mangrove forest that grows on the black volcanic rocks.

The coastal cliffs provide prime perching sites for a variety of birds, including blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, Nazca boobies, lava gulls, frigatebirds and brown noddy terns. It’s not uncommon for some species to plunge-dive from the cliffs, right next to the passing boats. Marine iguanas also nest on Eden.

The mangrove forests, meanwhile, have helped create a perfect habitat for marine wildlife. The red and white mangrove trees, some of which are thousands of years old, grow along the lava rocks. They help with the breeding and retention of plankton, which in turn attracts Pacific green sea turtles, reef sharks, eagle rays and Sally Lightfoot crabs, which come to feed in the shallow waters around the island.

The clear, shallow waters therefore provide excellent wildlife-spotting opportunities right from your boat. To get even closer, visitors can also snorkel from their boats, where they can swim with sharks, rays, marine iguanas and other inhabitants of Eden Islet and its surrounding waters.

Other Places to Visit in Galapagos

Photo Credit: Harvey Barrison according to this license.

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