Tag Archives: Islote de Lobos

Isla de Lobos, Fuerteventura

To the northwest of Fuerteventura, a bit further than 2km. away from Corralejo, we find Isla (o islote) de Lobos; an almost virgin area, a paradise of birds and flora that cannot be found anywhere else in our planet. It is one of the oldest areas in the Canarian Archipelago (dating from the Pleistocene), one of the wildest and furthest from human intervention areas. It consists of lava flows and volcanic sand deposits, eroded by Alisian winds, and marked by dry weather. In the old days —XV C— this island was inhabited by pirates and by some monk seals —known as sea lions by natives, hence this island’s name— which were exterminated by fishermen who considered them as a danger due to the great amount of fish they needed (among 30-40 kg per day) in order to survive. At present it is a threatened species —being hunted by men in order to get their fur and their fat— and there are just a few settlements left.

Canarian paradise

Up to 1968, this islet was inhabited by Antonio Hernán­dez Páez —Antoñito «el farero» — and his family, but the lighthouse he watched over, Martiño’s lighthouse, was restored and nowadays it works automatically. This island was also the Spanish writer Josephina Pla’s birth place, in 1903; she was a poet, a playwright, a narrator, an essayist, a ceramist, an art critic and a journalist. Although she was born Spanish, her name and her work are totally linked to the Paraguayan culture in the XX C, where she arrived in 1927.
Nowadays in this island there is a small settlement of houses —Known as El Puertito— consisting of fishermen huts that come here in summer or at the weekends to enjoy the peace and quietness that can be breathed in this paradise, and some of them, like Elías and Tita, enjoy this peace all over the year.
Isla de Lobos —made of small cliffs and creeks of turquoise waters— was one of the first natural areas in the Canary Islands to be protected. In 1982 it was declared Natural park (together with Corralejo’s dunes), but due to its environmental value, in 1994 it came to be known as The Natural Park Isla de Lobos.
At present it has been declared as ZEPA (special area for protection of birds), IBA (important bird area) and LIC (Place of communal interest), which has made it compulsory to demarcate restricted areas so as not to damage any of the species that inhabit it, due to their fragility.
Moreover, Lobos has a high heritage and ethnographic value, as it counts on salines, lime kilns, cisterns, Martiño’s Lighthouse (built in 1865) and several paleontological sites (belonging to the Jandiense and Erbanense periods).
A great biodiversity exists in Lobos, as it houses settlements of Canarian endemic species that can only be found there, like Limonium ovalifolium ssp. Canariensis; as well as the great amount of migrant and sea birds that live and fly over the islet. There are around 300 caves where the cory’s shearwater (Calonectris Diomeda) and the little shearwater (Puffinus assimilis) live. Even couples of fisher eagles have been seen; also, in this islet’s volcanic cliff hollows several birds, like the petrel de Bulwer, the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and the wilson’s storm-petrel (Oceanites Oceanicus) live. Occasionally we can find, in the dunes of the northern side, the famous houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulate), now in danger of extinction. Other migrant birds that have arrived in Lobos are the grey heron (Ardea Cinerea), little egret (Egreta garzetta), Eurasian curlew (Numenius Arquata), little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius), spoonbills (Plateinae)… and some other species that have been nesting like the Egyptian vulture (Neophron pernocterus). In addition to this important avifauna there are also small lizards, wall lizards, rabbits… and most of all sea beds considered among the best in the Atlantic, where there are plenty of barracudas (Sphyraena), Viejas (Cichlidae), sargos (Diplodus sargus sargus) and rays, which turn diving this islet into an authentic and unique show of colour and diversity.

In the African coast, to the South of the Saharan lands, we can find one of the few settlements of monk seals, gathering around 100 specimens. From time to time, some of them can be caught sight of from the East of our Archipelago, as these wonderful animals seem not to have forgotten their old home.

FuerteCharter´s setting

As we said in the introduction of this blog, living in an island like Fuerteventura is a real stroke of luck. Anywhere you look at nature offers you spectacular sights.

FuerteCharter is lucky to carry out its daily activity — boat trips on Kayak, SUP and Snorkel— in the north-east of the Island of Fuerteventura, in the coastal town of Corralejo.

Corralejo —a town of seafarers that life turned into the most visited tourist site in the North of the island —is the link between Fuerteventura and our neighbour island, Lanzarote, from which “El estrecho de la Bocaina” separates us (15km), and in the middle of these two islands, wild and isolated, the islet of “Lobos” stands out. It seems that in ancient geological ages “El estrecho de la Bocaina” didn’t exist and the two island — as well as the islet of “Lobos” — made up a single tract of land.

The strait offers perfect conditions for sailing, due to the trade winds channelling, so this is the favourite daily route of FuerteCharter which, depending on the conditions, offers either trips to Lobos or journeys to the neighbour island, Lanzarote.
The branch of sea that separates Fuerteventura from Lobos is a canal known as “El Río”. It’s located 2km away from Corralejo, and its waters aren’t deeper than 10m.

The islet of “Lobos”, with an area of 6km2 and a maximum height of 127m at the volcanic cone of “La Caldera”, took its name from the ancient inhabitants of its coasts: a colony of monk and fur seals. This islet has a unique landscape and it is part of the Natural Park “Dunas de Corralejo”, a beauty which doesn’t leave indifferent to visitors and residents alike.  It’s an area of great wealth and biological value — land as well as sea bed, and it has been declared marine reserve— which we’ll describe more in detail in next articles, where we’ll tell you about the lighthouse-keeper —Antoñito—  and his family, who inhabited it until 1968, about its marine species, its wetlands, its beach of “La Concha” and its pretty little harbour.

Another of the charms we can highlight in this area are the different recommended scuba diving spots, like “El Veril del Calamareo”, with vaults and caves and corridors among rocks, “El Veril de La Bocaina”, “El Bajón del Río”, with a mix of rock and pristine sand, “El punto de los Becerros”, standing out because of the great amount of fish, and the area of “La Carrera”, with little currents and very protected from the winds.

No doubt, FuerteCharter enjoys a great privilege. Would you like to come and share it with us?

FuerteCharter’s team

FuerteCharter: more than a sailing trip

If you walk along Corralejo’s Wharf you will probably meet Ildefonso Chacón — better known as Fonfo—, a sea lover from the North of Fuerteventura, and the manager of our company FuerteCharter.

The relationship of Fonfo with the sea started when he was very young, as despite being from Puerto del Rosario his parents always had a house in Corralejo, in Waikiki beach. So, being knee-high to a grasshopper he had his first boat and in the different stages of his youth he practised all the water sports he found in his way.

Fonfo remembers the years when Fuerteventura, mainly Corralejo, was a desert paradise, with waves for the few people who dared ride them, and he also remembers some athletes visiting the islands, famous nowadays — like Björn Dunkerbeck — who were not but children then, displaying water tricks that majorero inhabitants could not have imagined.

They were other times, as he says, and although the deep solitude of the desert landscape hardly exists nowadays he is delighted with an island full of visitors and residents from so many different nationalities who have done their bit — and keep doing it — to enrich this paradise that his Island, Fuerteventura, is.

His sea calling, as we have said, took place when he was very young: we could say that salty water flows in his veins. And so did the business calling, as his charter company Fuertecharter, which nowadays is about to become 10, stemmed from other family companies: Deportes Chacón and Naútica Chacón.

At present Fonfo runs FuerteCharter together with his wife Inma Morales, also accompanied by an excellent working team, whom he is sincerely thankful for taking Fuertecharter to what it is nowadays: a charter company in Corralejo with many added values.

FuerteCharter’s main aim is to share with our clients —and infect them with— our love for the sea. It’s not all just about taking them on a sailing trip to Lobos, it’s not just about enjoying that sailing trip and the wonders of nature but about going beyond that, encouraging them to get challenges they had never considered before, offering them different activities like learning how to use a kayak, a SUP, breathing through a snorkel tube, having a bath surrounded by schools of fish, feeding them… Being open to learning new things every day!

In order to carry out these activities, Fuertecharter counts on two different kinds of vessels: a catamaran and an inflatable motor boat to rent for private sailing trips (closed groups) as well as for open groups. The experience and the knowledge of the area turn the combination of both vessels in the same trip into the best way of visiting our neighbour island, as apart from the incomparable sailing trip around Lobos Island, the inflatable motor boat will let you explore the little ponds in this place, a true paradise, difficult to describe with words.

We can go on to talk about Fuertecharter’s professionalism and pampering when dealing with all those people embarking on their adventures, but the best thing is that you come to try and tell other people about it. We’ll be waiting for you!

FuerteCharter’s team