The thing that sets Rabida apart from others is its predominant colour – red. The dark russet-coloured sand and red-hued soil is memorable.
South of Santiago Island, this is a small dot on the map, just about 2 kilometres at its widest point. Visitors don’t stray too far from shore so you will be staying at low levels here, but actually the island is quite craggy, and rises to 400m. The cliffs are home to Nazca and blue-footed boobies.
This a wet landing island where you land on the beach and carefully step over the sea lions who got here before you.
Opunitia cactus is the main vegetation that you will see here, as well as palo santo trees. These are found on the volcanic rocks, then there is also a band of mangrove separating the beach from an inland salty lagoon. The lagoon is often frequented by flamingos, and is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the landing. You might also find Galapagos white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts here, and there is a brown pelican nesting site not far away from here too.
There is a good short walk (about 20 minutes) along a path up to an old cinder cone. The views are great from here, and you might see some of nine species of Darwin’s finch which inhabit the island.
In the mostly calm seas of the bay there are lots of schools of reef fish so it’s a great place to go snorkelling.