Darwin and Wolf are two eroded volcanoes and are located some 100 miles northwest of Isabela on a volcanic ridge (the Wolf-Darwin Lineament). The islands are the most remote of the Galapagos Archipelago.
Both islands are about the same size. Wolf is about half a square mile in area rising to 830 feet (250 meters), and Darwin is a bit smaller with a height of 550 feet (165 meters) The islands, though, are only tips of massive volcanoes that reach over 1000 meters above the sea floor. Both volcanoes are now extinct, ranging in ages from 400,000 to 1.6 million years old. About 21 miles apart, the islands are rarely visited except by scientists and scuba divers. The two islands are well-known among divers for their diverse and abundant marine wildlife. It is virtually guaranteed to see large schools of Hammerhead Sharks which are rare in the main group of islands.
Darwin Island was named after the famous naturalist. Wolf gets its name from an Ecuadorian geologist. Wolf and Darwin are famous for the so-called "Vampire" Finch. It's the same species as the Sharp-beaked Ground Finch (Geospiza difficilis) but has adopted the curious and perhaps repugnant habit of pecking at nesting boobies and drinking the blood. This is believed to be a behavioral adaptation in response to a poor diet. The finches feed on small insects in the feathers so presumably they evolved this behavior because it is beneficial to them. The Boobies do not seem to mind, but they will sometimes move away, only to be followed by the persistent finch.
Darwin Island is the only island in the archipelago where the Sooty Tern (Sterna fuscata) breeds.
There are no land visitor sites on Darwin or Wolf.
|Area:||98 square miles (254 square kilometers)|
|Maximum Altitude:||165 meters (541 feet)|
|Geographic Features:||Range in age from 400,000 to 1.6 million years. Inactive volcanoes.|
|Getting There:||Private diving tours.|
|Getting Around:||No visits allowed.|
|Observations:||Advanced diving only.|
|Fauna:||Darwin and Wolf are inhabited only by sea birds and are rarely visited by tourists other than master divers. Those of you who are scuba masters and love to dive should not miss these two Northern islands. Contact us for diving expeditions. Because of the cold currents, here's where you might get a chance a look at the Great Spotted Whale Shark, whales, Hammerheads, White-tips, Galapagos Sharks and more. This is a special spot for the most spectacular sea life in the islands. Because of the great distance from Puerto Ayora, Darwin and Wolf are pretty exclusive. If you're a die-hard diver, don't miss out on the opportunity to dive here. Be aware, though, that these islands are for advanced divers.|
|Activities:||Snorkeling, Scuba diving.|