Marchena Island is a lesser visited site in the Galapagos Islands. It has no terrestrial visitor sites, but it does have some marine sites that are well worthy of a visit. Marchena Island is located in the northern range of islands in the Galapagos archipelago. The island is sizeable, covering an area of 80 miles square (130 kilometers square). The highest altitude on the island is 1125 feet (343 meters). Marchena has taken its shape over the centuries as a result of volcanic activity in this region. The island has a large caldera, and this can be seen to be full of younglava flows, which is considered to be rather unusual. was formed through volcanic Marchena Island was named after a Spanish monk, whose full name was Frey Antonio de Marchena.
While Marchena Island is one of the less well-known Galapagos Islands it does onetheless have a fascinating history. This is because it was the site where the bodies of two people involved in the Floreana Island Mystery were found. The two that were identified here were Lorenz, a person who was linked to the Baroness who lived on Floreana Island and Nuggerod, who was the captain of the ship that Lorenz was sailing on. However, the island has never had any proper settlements since it has an issue of no fresh water supplies.
At Marchena Island, the only activities are water-based as there are no land Galapagos visitor sites. Therefore, there is no dry or wet landing – there is no landing at all. Most visits to Marchena Island are for divers who are on live aboard diving cruises around the Galapagos Islands. As such, diving is the main activity that is carried out here.
If you want to visit Marchena Island’s visitor sites, the only way to do so is taking a cruise that visits this island. There are no day trips that can be taken to this island, so if you are on a land-based Galapagos tour you will not be able to visit Marchena.Most of the Galapagos Islands cruises that do visit this remote island are those that are for live aboard divers, so if you want to visit this place, this is your best option – though beware, most tours do not offer this location in their itineraries.
There are different benefits to visiting Marchena Island at different times of the year. Given that visits made are in the water, it is useful to consider tides and currents. In the months between June and November, the waters are cooler, but the Humboldt Current arrives in the Galapagos Islands, bringing with it a wealth of nutrients, and a greater variety of wildlife to the waters. However, the seas may be somewhat choppier during these months, and especially during August and September, so the visibility may not be quite so good as at other times of the year. On the other hand, the months of December through May bring warmer waters, which makes diving more appealing. Whatever time of the year you visit you are likely to see a wide variety of wildlife, so both options have their merits.
The main wildlife that can be observed at Marchena Island is in the waters surrounding this site. Some of the wildlife highlights here include the chance to see different types of sharks, including the hammerhead shark, and Galapagos shark.Different species of rays may often be observed at both of the visitor sites. In particular the sting ray and the mobula ray can be seen here. Eels are also found in this location, including the moray eel and the garden eel. It is common to see sea lions and dolphins in this area. As with so many of the marine Galapagos visitor sites, it is possible to spot a wide variety of tropical fish in the water too. The Galapagos hawk may be seen in the skies overhead near this island, and it is reported that lava lizards are also found there – and that these are endemic to this particular island. Fur seals are also often spotted in this area. Other wildlife that may be seen on and around this island include a range of bird life such as the blue footed booby, the Nazca booby, red billed tropicbird, Galapagos shearwater, Galapagos petrel and brown pelican.
There are two Galapagos visitor sites at Marchena Island. These are Punta Espejo and Punta Mejia. Both of these spots are marine visitor sites which are excellent for diving in particular. The Punta Espejo site is on the southeastern tip of Marchena Island. The other site, Punta Mejia is found to the island’s southwestern edge.
Our main insider recommendation for visits to Marchena Island is to be mindful that this place can only be visited by a very small number of boats. If you want to visit you will need to make sure that it is on the itinerary of the boat you choose. As Galapagos experts, we can help you find the right trip for you that includes Marchena Island on its itinerary. Why not get in touch today and we can help you arrange your perfect trip.