About Pinzon Island in the Galapagos

Official Name: Pinzon Island
English Name: Duncan Island
Visitor Sites: None - only scuba diving site
Area: 6.9 sq. miles (18 sq km)
Max altitude: 1502 feet (458 meters)
Approximate Age: 2.5 million years old

Animals Regularly Seen: Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, Darwin finches.

Outstanding characteristics: Volcanic activity, giant tortoises, large marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins.

Vegetation: Typical of arid zone, principally Opuntia Cacti. Neither of the two main species of Galapagos trees can be found here.

Geology: Consists of several separate eroded hills and blocky lavas that erupted in viscous state.

Pinzon Island, also called Duncan Island (after British admiral Adam Duncan) is a small island in the Galapagos archipelago, located to the west of Santa Cruz Island, and just south of Rabida Island.

Pinzon Island is most famous for its endemic subspecies of Galapagos tortoises, Chelonoidis nigra duncanensis. Large colonies of sea lions are also found on this small island, as well as other endemic species. Unlike many other islands in the archipelago though, Pinzon Island has no visitor sites and no trails to facilitate a visitor's access to it. A special permit is required to visit this island, primarily reserved for scientist research and wildlife photographers. It does offer however, a good scuba diving site for full diving cruises only.

The Island of Pinzon marks the geographical center of the Galapagos Islands, and for this reason it is peculiar that neither of the two main tree species in Galapagos (Palo Santo and Scalesia) occur here. On the higher elevations of the island, a very rare species of daisy tree can be found.

Map of the Galapagos showing Pinzon Island