To find these teeny tiny Galapagos Penguins, we went to Penguin Rock Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island). This guy practically posed for me and stood in this position the entire time while I snapped away. I was so excited! We viewed them from a boat quite a distance away to protect the penguins and their habitat. I was a little reluctant to bring all my gear on the boat, but I was glad I did. Our 70-200 came in quite handy. Otherwise, these tiny penguins might have looked like specks in a vast landscape.
This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.
Last Updated: January 31, 2023
About the Galapagos Penguin
The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin species that lives on the equator, in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. They are a small penguin species, reaching about 20 inches in height and 4.5 lbs in weight.
They have adaptations to help them survive in their hot and arid environment, such as a dark plumage that helps absorb heat, and panting to regulate their body temperature.
Galapagos penguins are endangered due to habitat loss, disease, and food availability issues, with an estimated population of only around 2,000 individuals. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this unique species.
Where to Find the Galapagos Penguin
Penguin Rock, or Roca de los Pingüinos, is one of the best places to see the Galapagos Penguin. It’s a wildlife viewing site in Puerto Villamil, on the island of Isabela in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. It is known for its population of Galapagos penguins, as well as other wildlife such as sea lions, marine iguanas, and various bird species.
Visitors to Penguin Rock can observe the penguins as they swim and hunt for food in the surrounding waters, or sun themselves on the rocks. The site is a popular stop for wildlife tours and cruises in the Galapagos Islands and is considered an important area for conservation efforts for the endangered Galapagos penguin.
You can see a sally lightfoot crab crawling on the side of the rock under the Galapagos penguin to reference their size.
These blue-footed boobies hung out with the penguins and were pretty much the same size as them.
Why is the Galapagos Penguin endangered? Probably because of stuff like this! I caught these guys on camera in an area they were not supposed to be in. Our tour guide yelled at them, and they didn’t budge. At least I got to use them as a reference to show you how tiny they are. Can you see them?
interesting Facts about the Galapagos Penguins
- It is the second smallest penguin species in the world, with an average size of 19 in (49 cm).
- You can find them mainly on the west coast of Isabela Island and Fernandina Island and small colonies on other islands.
- It’s the only penguin that lives north of the equator.
- They are the rarest penguin species, with a population size of around 1500, and are considered endangered.
- Because they are so small, they have many predators: crabs, snakes, cats, dogs, rats, owls, sharks, seals, and seal lions.
- According to our tour guide, they are opportunistic breeders. Although most penguins have a breeding season, these guys will breed whenever conditions are right. That means they may breed more than once a year,
- The Galapagos Penguins’ adaptions allow them to deal with warmer weather. Although they usually cool off by getting in the water, they’ve also developed behaviors unique to them. On land, they use their flippers to shade their feet, which changes their temperature due to the blood flow there. They also use evaporation to cool the throat by panting.
Where to Stay in the Galapagos
Have you seen any penguins? Where did you see them?
SEE MORE FIRST TIMER CITY GUIDES
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust
Esther + Jacob
Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.