Marchena Island (Isla Marchena), Galapagos Islands
The seventh largest island in the Galapagos, Isla Marchena is just 130 sq km in size. Also known as Bindloe Island, Isla Marchena is off limits to visitors due to the sensitive nature of its environment. However, there are a number of good scuba diving sites in the area around the island, which make a boat trip out here definitely worthwhile.
Very close to Isla Pinta and lying in the northern part of the archipelago, Isla Marchena has a 343 meter high volcano in the center of the island. This volcano was very active in the 1990’s and during this period it was possible to catch a glimpse of the volcano erupting as your boat would cruise by. The last time the volcano erupted here was in 1991.
Named after a Spanish monk, Fray Antonio Marchena, who was among the first to visit the island, Isla Marchena is home to a number of wildlife species. Inhabited by the endemic Galapagos Hawk and colonies of sea lions, this island also plays host to the endemic Marchena Lava Lizard.
Another reason why Isla Marchena is so famous is that though it is uninhabited, it was embroiled in the ‘Floreana Mystery’. Here the dead bodies of Rudolf Lorenz and the captain of the ship he was on, washed up mysteriously on the shore of the island and were mummified naturally as there were no natural predators found here.