Known for its unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna, North Seymour Island is situated just north of the much bigger Baltra Island. Despite its size, North Seymour Island is packed with natural wonders and is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Galapagos Islands.
Small but mighty, North Seymour Island was named after an English nobleman who was also a member of Great Britain’s Parliament, Lord Hugh Seymour who was part of one of the wealthiest families in England in the 1700s. Besides his impressive social and financial standing at the time, he was considered a brave and groundbreaking senior British Royal Navy officer.
Unlike most of the islands in the Galapagos Archipelago which are volcanic islands, North Seymour Island is actually a picturesque, rugged plateau that was formed by a series of tectonic uplifts underneath the ocean. Spanning just over 1.8 kilometers, visitors today can see for themselves shells and rocks that used to be hidden under the Ecuadorian waves.
Suffice to say, North Seymour Island’s unique creation has led to a landscape unlike any other in the Galapagos Islands. Its surface is flat and dry, peppered with sparse vegetation – an arid environment perfect for the reptiles that call North Seymour home.
North Seymour Visitor Site
Trekking North Seymour Island is a serene excursion where visitors can disconnect and tune-in to nature. The approximately 2.4 kilometer hiking trail is a rocky, circular loop that explores both the scenic coastline and the inner landscapes of the island. Along this route, there’ll be opportunities to spot various species of wildlife in their natural habitat. Expect sea lions, land iguanas, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls without the need to compete with a crowd of tourists.
There will be plenty of opportunities to observe eye-catching blue-footed boobies in their nests. If you happen to visit during the months of July to September, you may get the rare treat of witnessing the fluorescent-footed boobies’ mating rituals and dances.
Beyond blue-footed boobies, North Seymour Island is also home to the largest frigate bird colony in the Galapagos Archipelago. These magnificent birds have bright red pouches that males puff up to attract females to mate; a highlight sighting for those visiting the region.
Along the coastal segment of the North Seymour Island trail, guests visiting the archipelago on Aqua Mare’s West Galapagos itinerary will have the pleasure of seeing marine iguanas and sea lions basking in the warmth of the equatorial sun. Aqua Mare expeditioners will navigate the rugged terrain with the help of our expert naturalist guides and have the chance to learn about the unique adaptations that enable the endemic fauna to thrive in this harsh environment.
Mosquera Visitor Site on North Seymour
Mosquera is a tiny, flat islet of just 120 meters by 600 meters located South of North Seymour Island. Despite its small size, Mosquera is a hotspot destination for visitors as it hosts one of the biggest populations of sea lions in the Galapagos Islands. On its white sandy beaches, you’ll be able to walk and swim amongst these playful creatures.
Home to a diverse range of shorebirds, including herons, egrets, and pelicans, the islet is the perfect place for bird watchers too. Land iguanas are also common on the island, and visitors can watch them as they forage for food or sunbathe on the rocks.
Even though the landscape is perfect for reptiles such as land iguanas, these scaly creatures are not actually native to the island. Originally, they inhabited Baltra Island in the heart of the Galapagos. In the early 1930s, goats were introduced to Baltra, destroying the iguanas’ habitat and threatening their survival. To save the land iguana population, Hancock Expeditions brought 70 individuals to live on Mosquera. Today, they have a healthy and thriving population on Mosquera Island thanks to the efforts of Hancock Expeditions.
North Seymour Island Marine Visitor Sites
The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their rich marine biodiversity, and North Seymour Island is no exception. Visitors can take a snorkeling or diving excursion to explore the vibrant coral reefs and swim alongside an array of marine life, including sea lions, sea turtles, rays, sharks, and colorful fish. The crystal-clear waters of North Seymour Island provide an unparalleled opportunity to witness the wonders of the underwater world and get up close and personal with these incredible creatures.
Where Do We Go Next: Baltra Island and Santa Cruz
As the sun begins to set on North Seymour Island, those traveling with Aqua Expeditions will return to the luxurious comfort of superyacht Aqua Mare for a glass of wine on the sundeck ahead of their last day on the West Galapagos itinerary.
Day eight commences with a lavish breakfast over sunrise and stunning vistas of Daphne Island as we head to Baltra Island for disembarkation.
Book an expedition on Aqua Mare to discover the elusive wildlife and dramatic volcanic landscapes of the Galapagos Islands. Curated with exclusivity and personalized service enabled in mind, the yacht is the only one in the Galapagos Islands to have a one-to-one crew to guest ratio. Plan your trip now and feel free to reach out to our Expeditions Consultant with any questions you may have.