Fernandina Island (formerly known in English as Narborough Island, after John Narborough) is the third largest, and youngest, island of the Galapagos Islands. Like the others, the island was formed by the Galapagos hotspot. The island is an active shield volcano that has been erupting since April 11, 2009. It is the westernmost of the islands in the archipelago, and was named in honor of King Ferdinand of Spain, who sponsored the voyage of Christopher Columbus.
Fernandina has an area of 642 km² (247.9 miles2) and a height of 1,476 meters (4,842 feet), with a summit caldera about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) wide. The caldera underwent a collapse in 1968, when parts of the caldera floor dropped 350 meters. A small lake has intermittently occupied the northern caldera floor, most recently in 1988. Two types of lava flow can be observed, ʻaʻā and pāhoehoe.
The southern flank of the volcano La Cumbre had a fissure eruption that generated flows, which subsided within hours. Isla Fernandina supports wildlife that could be threatened by the April 2009 burst of volcanic activity, according to rangers at Galapagos National Park. However, no human settlements were endangered, as the island has no human residents. Park rangers and a passing tourist boat initially observed the volcano at 10:00 p.m. local time on April 10, 2009. A sparse human population in the western reaches of the Galapagos Islands means that volcanic activity is not always observed or reported as soon as it starts. The seismic station at Puerto Ayora, on the nearby island of Santa Cruz, recorded no earthquakes associated with this eruption.
Special moments: beautiful expansive landscapes, lava cactus as well as lava flow formations; marine iguana/mammal/Sally Lightfoot crab paradise; and, most notably an impromptu performance by the “Ivan Lopez and the Flamingos” band for our listening pleasure after dinner that evening!