Located at the inner part of Darwin Bay, it is a small and relatively flat island, rim of a sunken crater that forms Bahia Darwin. Geologically young (less than one million years old) and therefore some iconic Galapagos creatures. The only island north of the equator that tourist are permitted to visit and is well worth the effort. Abundant breeding seabirds, including the world's largest colony of Red footed boobies and some 200 000 pairs of nesting Galapagos storm-petrels. Large numbers of Nazca and Blue-footed boobies, Audubon's shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, many great and some magnificent frigatebirds. Galapagos sea lions plus easily seen Galapagos fur seals, the only island with two species of large-billed Darwin finch, plus sharpbeaked ground finch and warbler finch. The smallest subspecies of marine iguana, but excellent snorkeling with good visibility. The best place to see short-eared owls.
Prince Philip's Steps / El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay. There is a 1.5 km trail on volcanic rock and the trek can be done in about 2 hours. This is the youngest area of the island, from a geological point of view. The cliffs located in the south are composed of very fragile lava. The natural erosion that has occurred in these lava flows has become the ideal place for nesting Storm Petrels. You will find two species of petrels that nest in holes in the lava. One is the Wooden petrel and the other is the Galapagos petrel. There is an estimated population of over 200,000 pairs.
Location:125 km north of Puerto Ayora
Facilities: None, wet landing at Bahia Darwin and dry landing at Prince Philip's steps.
Photo opportunities: Red footed boobies, great frigatebirds, Galapagos storm-petrels, short-eared owl, reef fish, fur seals.