Explore the Intriguing Island of Tower
Tower Island is a relatively small island found in the northern parts of the Galapagos Islands. The island of Tower is really a low-lying volcano that has risen above the surface of the ocean. The outer edge of the island is made up of beautiful white coral beaches that are home to a number of seabirds.
The beautiful Tower Island is home to thousands of sea bird species. Pelagic seabirds, like the Great Frigate birds, Swallow-Tailed Gulls, Red-Footed and Blue footed Boobies, Masked Boobies and Storm Petrels, come to the island to nest and breed. There are also thousands of other birds that inhabit the island as well. This array of seabirds attracts a number of devoted birders who come to see the birds in their natural surroundings.
Only a limited number of visitors is permitted on the island each day as ordered by the Galapagos National Park. The limited numbers of visitors ensures the protection of the sea birds and the island’s delicate ecosystem. Most visitors that come on boats enter the island via Darwin’s Bay, where they are met by thousands of island birds. Darwin’s Bay was formed when the Tower Island’s crater collapsed and sank below sea level.
As you move away from the beach you will come across a number of tidal pools formed out of black volcanic rock. These tidal pools are great for birds like Lava Gulls, Yellow and Black Crowned Herons, Turnstones, Lava Herons, Whimbrels, Yellow Warblers and Wandering Tattlers, which use the pools to catch fish.
There are two sites that have been officially opened to visitors. One site of particular interest is Prince Philip’s Steps which was named after his Royal Highness Prince Philip following his visit to the island of Tower in the 1960’s. The Prince Philip’s Steps can be found on the eastern side of the island of Tower and are literally a number of steep rocky steps.
The area surrounding the natural steps is made up of rocky cliff ledges that make a perfect vantage point for visitors to see a variety of birds. Standing there you can see the Red-Billed Tropicbirds flying toward the cliffs into the small crevices where their nests are protected. Only a limited amount of guests can visit Prince Philip’s Steps due to conservation reasons so visitors and adventure seekers will need to make reservations well in advance.