Great for snorkeling. Saw some sea rays, starfish, all kinds of fish and some sea lions laying on the beach.
We made a wet landing from our panga off the Santa Cruz II at Darwin Bay, and immediately saw a shark in the shallow water. We took a short hike in the area of the landing (populated by sea lions on the beach), and immediately saw frigate birds with their red chests puffed out, and boobies and chicks. Some people in our group went snorkeling off the beach, but conditions were rough. Earlier, our kids went kayaking around Darwin Bay, and with the rough water everyone got drenched. This trip was in June, which has rough water.
As a birder, Genovesa is a must but it also has great Snorkelling opportunities too. Prince Phillip stairs is probably more dramatic but Darwin Bay is great, nesting Red-footed and Nazca Boobies, Great Frigate birds, Swallow-tailed Gulls at close range, displaying Frigates with their fully puffed pouches! But we also had: sharks, rays and sea-lions in the water.
This was the last full day stop on our tour of the Galapagos Islands, and for birding watching it was quite amazing with frigate birds, red-footed Boobies and Nazca boobies. We even were lucky to spot a short-eared owl. There are two landing points, the dry one being Prince Philip's Step which leads to a long, but easy hiking trail, once your climb the steep concrete steps (about 15 steps). Like the wildlife on the other islands, it was easy to get very up-close photos, especially of the male frigate birds with their fully expand red throats and all the nesting gulls and boobies with their eggs and chicks. The waters were a bit stirred up the day we were there, so the snorkeling wasn't as good as we had experienced around the other islands, but it was easy to see if it had been clear, it would have been equally spectacular.
We went for a walk on a path that started at the bay after exiting our panga but the highlight of our visit to Darwin Bay was the snorkelling. Unfortunately, the water was too murky for any good photos, just as it was everywhere we went on our tour of the Galapagos Islands. However, that does not mean you do not get to feast your eyes on under water denizens. We were totally amazed at the shear numbers of sting rays in the bay. One of our fellow snorkellors also got a close up look at a shark while snorkelling.
We arrived at Darwin Bay via panga from our cruise ship, La Pinta. As the panga arrives into the beach area for a wet landing we were greeted by playful sea lions lounging on the sand. We were guided by our Naturalists along a sandy path close to the shoreline to view an abundance of birds everywhere that you turned to look! There were red footed boobies, great and magnificent frigate birds, Nazca boobies all over. There were plenty of nesting birds in the bushy vegetation. You are very close to the birds, it's truly amazing. If you are a photographer, you will have a field day here! The sea lions and many bright red crabs could be seen near the rocks in the shallow, beautiful blue water. The view from this beach area out into the caldera of Genovesa Island is a magnificent site.
Later in the day, our cruise gave the guests the option of either snorkeling at the beach or kayaking in the blue waters of the caldera. We chose kayaking and totally enjoyed the view along the rocky shoreline looking up to the top of the cliffs and also towards the beach. The water was calm and we had wetsuits on. Great experience!
I'm normally more interested in marine life, but (as others have said) the quantity, accessibility and range of birds is staggering. Beautiful little beach with sealions too.
I stopped at Genovesa Island on the penultimate day of my Galapagos Cruise. I loved every island of the Galapagos but this one is truly spectacular. The sheer volume of birdlife is amazing. Taking a short panga ride to the island and up through the cliffs, We walked up the makeshift steps and on to the island, I have never seen anything quite like it. Nazca boobies everywhere, as well as a plethora of other birdlife. This really is a photographers paradise. Anyone who has been to the Galapagos will know how surreal the wildlife experiences are and Genovesa is no exception. Darwin Bay is the same. The water is crystal clear and perfect for snorkeling, the waters are teeming with fish, rays, and sharks. The beach is home to a number of Sealion families that love posing for a picture.
I will not be forgetting this trip in a hurry.
This is the first island stop of our cruise. I am typing from the rear deck, enjoying the view.... after a wonderful tour. We saw all the things the other reviews mentioned. The other special thing is how many instances, and how they are not afraid of people. PS. I have wonderful pictures, but our ship's wifi via satellite is limited, and can only send text.
It took our boat about 6 hours to get to this island. Sea conditions were not too bad for us, a little bumpy/rolling but OK. The sheltered bay makes for a good place to anchor. Nice beach to swim from. Mostly birds on the island and lots of them so you get very close to them. Also some interesting small crabs which creep out of their hole in the sand and make it look like the sand has come to life.
Saw lots of red footed boobies. Then saw many nazca boobies. Quite a few had eggs they were hatching. They either covered them with their bodies or with their feet to incubate. saw month old babies that were still all white. Nests were just the ground where they cleaned out a circle around the egg(s). Go if you can!