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Punta Espinoza (Espinosa Point) is the only visitor site on Fernandina, the most western island in the Galápagos. Home to one of the largest Marine Iguana colonies of the archipelago, it is also one of the only locations in Galápagos where snorkelers can observe these iconic reptiles feeding underwater.

Feeding marine iguana at Punta Espinoza
Punta Espinoza is the best location in the Galápagos to observe Marine Iguanas feeding on algae underwater.

How to get to Punta Espinoza snorkeling spot?

Located on the northeastern shores of Fernandina Island, some 100 miles away from the closest inhabited areas, Punta Espinoza is only accessible with Liveaboard cruise. Most cruise ships visiting the western coast of Isabela stop there, but check that snorkeling activity in Punta Espinoza is included in your program.

The best chances to spot feeding iguanas are during the warmest hours of the day, between 11 am and 2 pm.

Punta Espinoza snorkeling map
Punta Espinoza snorkeling map, Fernandina Island.

Water entrance for snorkeling Punta Espinoza

The water entrance is from a dinghy.

Punta Espinoza snorkeling exploration tips

The main snorkeling area in Punta Espinoza extends south of the landing site, but your guide may decide to snorkel in another area, depending on sea conditions.

Chocolate sea star at Punta Espinoza
Chocolate sea stars are quite common on the seafloor.

Snorkeling Punta Espinoza consists of swimming along the volcanic, rugged coastline. The topography consists of gradual rock reefs covered with algae descending from the shore.

The marine iguanas are the main attraction of Punta Espinoza. Young iguanas feed on marine algae growing on the intertidal zones but large, mature individuals have the ability to dive down and feed underwater.

Swimming marine iguana at Punta Espinoza
A swimming Marine Iguana noted at Punta Espinoza.

In Punta Espinoza, the marine iguanas are usually seen 6 to 12 feet/2 to 4 meters deep, holding themselves against the rocks with their long claws. They can remain submerged in the water for dozens of minutes.

You may also be lucky enough to observe iguanas swimming underwater, using their large, flattened tail. In addition to the iguanas, this location allows observing Galápagos sea lions, reef fish, schools of salema, as well as sporadic sea stars.

Galapagos sea lion at Punta Espinoza
While snorkeling Punta Espinoza, you may encounter playful Galápagos sea lions.

Always keep your distance from the shore, especially when the sea is a bit choppy.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

All liveaboard cruises are full board.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Protected areaParque Nacional Galápagos
  • Maximum depth20 feet/6 meters
  • Water entranceFrom a dinghy
  • Potential DangersCollision with rocks in case of waves
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsOnly with liveaboard cruises

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.