Daphne Mayor Galapagos Island

Daphne Major Island is a tuff cone formed by the settlement of ash caused by the eruption of a volcano, which at the time of its eruption threw lava into the water producing a cloud of steam and ash particles. This ash settled around the vent of the volcano creating a cone that with the passage of time has been compressed forming a rock. Daphne Island rises 120 meters above sea level and covers an area of 0.32 square km.

Daphne Mayor Island

How to visit the island ?

You can visit this beautiful island through a day tour. It is not possible to walk on the island but it is possible to snorkel around it. These tours are carried out on yachts accompanied by 12 people, but if you would like privacy, you can charter the entire boat.

Galapagos Map


Daphne Mayor is part of the Galapagos Archipelago belonging to Ecuador. It is located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baltra airport and is north of Santa Cruz Island.

Coordinates: 0°24′30″S 90°21′30″O

Daphne Island Finch

Daphne Island Finches

The Darwin's finches that live on this island are special and spectacular. In 1977 there was an extreme drought without rain for 551 days. The finches with large beaks found food as they could open larger seeds, while the finches with small beaks unfortunately died when they could not find food. The wonderful thing is that the finches with large beaks genes’ were passed on to their offspring, resulting in their chicks developing beaks 3-4% larger, which were more likely to survive.

Galapagos finch

Darwin's Theory says that the adaptation of a species develops within hundreds to thousands of years, but on Daphne Island it happened only in 2 years. Biologists Peter and Rosemary Grant did an extensive study on the Darwin's finches, investigating their behavior and life cycle. You can learn more about this study in the Pulitzer Prize-winning book "The Beak of the Finch"

Palo Santo tree


In its arid landscape you can find the endemic Palo Santo (Bursera malacophyla) and several small cacti.

blue footed booby


Several birds come to nest in the island’s crater, such as the blue-footed booby, masked boobies, and frigate birds. Around the island can be seen flying red-billed tropical birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and many of Darwin's finches.

Nazca booby
Magnificent frigate
Swallow-tailed gull
Red beaked tropical bird.
Sea lion

Under its waters

While snorkeling, you can see squid, sardines, yellow tailed tuna, various fish, sea turtles, Galapagos sharks, giant manta rays, sea lions, black and white tip sharks , and starfish.

Black tip shark.
Sea turtle

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