North Seymour Island location is a very central spot in the Galapagos Islands archipelago. It is close to Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. It is a rather small island, covering an area of just 0.73 square miles (or 1.9 square kilometers). Unlike many of the other islands in the Galapagos, North Seymour is not a volcano. Rather, it came into being as a result of seismic activity. The island has a lovely visitor trail which runs for 1.2 miles (approximately two kilometers) across the island, running inland before reaching the coastline. The highest point on the island is just 92 feet (28 meters) meaning that North Seymour Island is pretty flat. North Seymour Island got its name from a man called Lord Hugh Seymour. This English gentleman was born into one of the wealthiest families in England during the 18th century, and was considered a brave and ground-breaking Royal Navy officer.
Other aspects of North Seymour Island history of interest include the way that the island was formed. It was created by uplifts of submarine lava near Baltra and Santa Cruz, which led to flat plateaus forming, which became North Seymour. A change that occurred during North Seymour Island’s history which has affected the wildlife on the island is that in the 1930s, 70 land iguanas were located on the island. They were moved from Baltra by Hancock Expeditions. The reason was that goats were destroying their natural habitat on Baltra, and it was thought that moving them to North Seymour Island would help them to survive. Prior to this, land iguanas were not found on North Seymour Island, but today you may be lucky and get to see them there.
One of the true highlights of visiting North Seymour Island is that you will almost certainly get to see the iconic blue footed booby, with its namesake bright blue feet. If you are really lucky you may get to observe a male doing his courtship dance to try and win over a female. For blue footed boobies the color of their feet is important, and this is what attracts a mate. The male will strut in front of the female to show off his feet, and demonstrate materials he has for building a nest. He will also point his bill and head to the sky, keeping his wings and tail raised at the same time. He will follow up by showing the female his feet again. Given the number of blue footed boobies on North Seymour Island if you’re going to see the courtship dance at all, this is a very likely spot.
Another of the amazing North Seymour Island Highlights is observing the magnificent frigate bird who shows off his bright red pouch at certain times of the year, with the goal of attracting a mate. Again, there are magnificent frigate birds on North Seymour Island, so this is a good place to see this phenomenon. The bright red puffed up throat looks like a large red balloon. The boobies and the frigate birds also have interesting and hunting techniques. The boobies fish together in groups, and the frigate birds swoop on them, making them drop their catch. The frigate bird can then steal it away.
Another of the North Seymour Island highlights is the visitor site, which is named Mosquera, which is not technically on North Seymour itself, but is sat between Baltra and North Seymour. Nonetheless it is worth a mention as it is an interesting spot to pay a visit. Mosquera is a sandy islet which has almost no vegetation whatsoever. It is a superb place to observe the behavior of one of its most dominant residents, the sea lion. This is one of the biggest sea lion populations. Visitors to this tiny islet, measuring just 120 meters by 600 meters may also be blessed with seeing lava gulls and Sally Lightfoot crabs.
The best time to go to North Seymour Island is really any time. If you have a preference for slightly cooler weather, you may want to opt for Galapagos Islands cruises or Galapagos land based options between June to September when the weather is a few degrees colder than the rest of the year. If you don’t mind warmer and wetter weather, January through May might be the best time to go to North Seymour Island. In reality however, North Seymour Island weather does not vary all that much throughout the year, so any time is good.
In terms of the wildlife, the best time to go to North Seymour Island might be from June if you hope to see the blue footed boobies do their intriguing courtship dance, and the magnificent frigate bird’s puffy red pouch.
North Seymour Island Wildlife is mostly bird-oriented, which makes it a lovely place for birdwatchers and ornithologists to visit. Blue footed boobies reside on the island and there are also lots of magnificent frigate birds. You may also get to see land iguanas, marine iguanas and sea lions on North Seymour Island. North Seymour Island wildlife under the water includes reef sharks and garden eels.
In fact, there are several fabulous dive spots around North Seymour Island too. When visiting these sites there are excellent chances of seeing pretty colorful fishes, rays, sea turtles and sharks, as well as sea lions.
North Seymour Island is not populated. That means you won’t find any North Seymour Hotels or North Seymour Restaurants. Luckily, the island is very conveniently located close to Santa Cruz Island, the town of Puerto Ayora, and Baltra. This means that if you are on a Galapagos Islands cruise you will often visit either as your first island visit on your cruise after flying into Baltra, or as your last island visit before you fly out. It is also a fairly quick trip for those who are on Galapagos land-based options staying on Santa Cruz Island.