Area Size: 0.06 Km²
Maximum Altitude: 1.98 metres / 6.5 feet
Island Highlights: Sea Lion, Lava Gull, Yellow Crowned Heron, White-Tipped Reef Shark
Mosquera is a small coral islet situated between the islands of North Seymour and Baltra. It is a low lying sand island which is home to the largest colony of sea lions in the archipelago. There is no nature trail as such, although there is a great expanse of open space, ideal for observing the sea lions and shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls, as well as sally lightfoot crabs and scorpions. You may also see brown pelicans here, blue-footed boobies and on rare occasions, yellow crowned herons.
Due to its close proximity to Baltra airport, Mosquera is often a first or last stop off destination in our Yacht Safari itineraries. It is the ideal beach to wander around and soak up the surroundings as it has none of the typical restrictions that other islands impose.
Mosquera is also of high interest to divers and Aqua-Firma visits this site on both Galapagos Hotel Based Dive Trips and on some Dive Liveaboard itineraries. There are reefs along the edges of the island and some sand flats which are excellent for seeing rays and large colonies of garden eels which rise and fall depending upon how close you swim to them. There are regular sightings of sharks such as white tips here, turtles and amber jacks, and the possibility too of the odd hammerhead shark.
Whilst divers are not allowed to land on the island, you can observe a lot of the sea lion activity from a boat, including the structure of harems led by large dominant males.
Mosquera is an ideal location for both swimming and snorkelling, with an array of beautiful marine life to be enjoyed in the crystal clear and calm waters.
On the eastern shoreline, large rocks form a boulder slope that terraces down into the water from depths between 6 and 15 meters. The sandy sea bed is home to an incredible collection of exciting marine life, including diamond and marbled rays, octopus, moray eels and white tipped reef sharks.
Other marine life to look out for includes schools of Peruvian grunts, yellowtail grunts, blue-striped snappers, Galapagos grunts and surgeonfish.
Sally lightfoot crabs can often be seen scampering along the rocks and tide pool areas in search of food. They follow the line of the tide, eating the remains of any algae and detritus left behind. The fascinating crabs are very sensitive to movement around them and as such are quick to escape from any potential threat posed by their natural predators of herons, moray eels and hawkfish. This swift escape mechanism is in stark contrast to that of the laid back marine iguanas of which the sally lighfoot crab clambers over on route. The dazzling reddish orange crabs look stunning against the black lava backdrop and make for an interesting photograph.
The island is inhabited by large colonies of sea lions which spend their days lazing on the beach or swimming playfully with snorkelers.
Mosquera is considered to have been formed in a similar way to that of North Seymour and Baltra Island by way of an uplift.
The island is approximately 2 million years old and consists of a thin elongated stretch of white sand, tide pools and rocks.
The majority of Mosquera is covered with sand and barren lava rock. In terms of vegetation on the island, there is very little, although Sesuvium portulacastrum (sea purslane), a sprawling perennial herb grows in the sand.