Daphne Island (Islas Daphne), Galapagos Islands
Among the central islands of the Galapagos Archipelago, Islas Daphne sits north of Isla Santa Cruz and west of Isla Baltra. Actually two islands known as Daphne Major and Daphne Minor, Islas Daphne is one of the more accessible Galapagos Islands. Easily reached by most tour boats and cruises, visiting this island is unfortunately not so simple. With limited visitor access put in place by the Galapagos National Park Service, no more than 12 people at a time are allowed on the islands. Therefore the chances of actually setting foot here are quite small. Daphne Major is the younger of the two islands and is the one people most visit.
Volcanic in origin, these two islands are actually quite different from one another, and while Daphne Minor is badly eroded, Daphne Major still retains much of its volcanic form. Scientists spend on a lot of time on the Islas Daphne mainly due to the major scientific research being undertaken to understand the habits of Darwinís finches. In the hopes of learning more about the evolutionary process, researchers are analyzing the lives of these endemic Galapagos birds.
If you do get a chance to come here, you will find are number of indigenous Galapagos bird species including finches, Galapagos Martins, Masked Boobies, and Short Eared Owls. Red-Billed Tropicbirds often build their nests near the summit of Daphne Major; while Frigatebirds are often spotted on the islandís slopes.
An extraordinary place to tour, there are also 2 dive sites off the islands. Here pieces of machinery and bomb shells belonging to the US Navy from World War II can be seen amid the diverse marine life. Tuna, Red tailed Snapper, White-tip Reef Sharks, Moray Eels, and Yellow tailed Grunts can be spotted swimming along side graceful sea turtles.