Galapagos General InformationThe Galápagos Islands (official name: Archipelago de Colón; other Spanish names: Islas de Colón or Islas Galápagos) are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km (525 nautical miles) west of continental Ecuador.
The Galápagos Islands and its surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The principal language on the islands is Spanish. The islands have a population of around 23,000. The islands are geologically young and famed for their vast number of endemic species, which were studied by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle, from which he documented his observations a collected some specimens later on all these contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection.
Galapagos Geographical LocationThe Islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 973 km (525 nautical miles; 605 mi) off the west coast of South America. The closest land mass is the mainland of Ecuador to the east (the country to which they belong), to the north is Coco's Island at 720 km (389 nautical miles; 447 mi) and to the south is Easter Island and San Felix Island at 3,200 km (1,730 nautical miles; 1,990 mi).
During the season known as the garua (June to November), the temperature by the sea is 22 °C (72 °F), a steady and cold wind blows from south and southeast, frequent drizzles (garuas) last most of the day, and dense fog conceals the islands. During the warm season (December to May), the average sea and air temperature rises to 25 °C (77 °F), there is no wind at all, there are sporadic, though strong, rains and the sun shines.
Galapagos HistoryEuropean discovery of the Galápagos Islands occurred when Spaniard Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the fourth Bishop of Panama, sailed to Peru to settle a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his lieutenants. De Berlanga's vessel drifted off course when the winds diminished, and his party reached the islands on 10 March 1535. According to a 1952 study by Thor Heyerdahl and Arne Skjølsvold, remains of potsherds and other artifacts from several sites on the islands suggest visitation by South American peoples prior to the arrival of the Spanish. However, no remains of graves, ceremonial vessels and constructions have ever been found, suggesting no permanent settlement occurred at the time.
The Galápagos Islands first appeared on the maps, of Gerardus Mercator and Abraham Ortelius, in about 1570. The islands were named "Insulae de los Galopegos" (Islands of the Tortoises) in reference to the giant tortoises found there.
The first English captain to visit the Galápagos Islands was Richard Hawkins, in 1593. Until the early 19th century, the archipelago was often used as a hideout by mostly English pirates who pilfered Spanish galleons carrying gold and silver from South America to Spain.
In 1793, James Colnett described the flora and fauna of Galápagos, and suggested the islands could be used as base for the whalers operating in the Pacific Ocean. He drew the first accurate navigation charts of the islands.
The first known permanent human resident on Galapagos was Patrick Watkins, an Irish sailor who was marooned on the Island Floreana from 1807–1809. According to later accounts, Watkins managed to survive by hunting, growing vegetables and trading with visiting whalers, before finally stealing an open boat and navigating to Guayaquil.
Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands on 12 February 1832, naming them the Archipelago of Ecuador. This new name added to several names that had been, and are still, used to refer to the archipelago. The first governor of Galápagos, General José de Villamil, brought a group of convicts to populate the island of Floreana, and in October 1832, some artisans and farmers joined them.
The voyage of the Beagle brought the survey ship HMS Beagle, under captain Robert Fitzroy, to the Galápagos on 15 September 1835 to survey approaches to harbors. The captain and others on board, including his companion, the young naturalist Charles Darwin, made observations on the geology and biology on Chatham, Charles, Albemarle and James islands before they left on 20 October to continue on their round-the-world expedition. Primarily a geologist at the time, Darwin was impressed by the quantity of volcanic craters they saw, later referring to the archipelago as "that land of craters". His study of several volcanic formations over the 5 weeks he stayed in the islands, led to several important geological discoveries, including the first, correct explanation for how volcanic tuff is formed. Darwin noticed the mockingbirds differed between islands, though he thought the birds now known as Darwin's finches were unrelated to each other, and did not bother labeling them by island. The Englishman Nicolas Lawson, acting Governor of Galápagos for the Republic of the Equator, met them on Charles Island, and as they walked to the prison colony, told Darwin the tortoises differed from island to island. Towards the end of the voyage, Darwin speculated that the distribution of the mockingbirds and the tortoises might "undermine the stability of Species". When specimens of birds were analyzed on his return to England, it was found that many apparently different kinds of birds were species of finches, which were unique to islands. These facts were crucial in Darwin's development of his theory of natural selection explaining evolution, which was presented in The Origin of Species.
Galapagos DemographicsThe Galápagos Islands is one of the few places in the world without an indigenous population. The largest ethnic group is composed of Ecuadorian Mestizos, the mixed descendants of Spanish colonists and indigenous Native Americans, who arrived mainly in the last century from the continental part of Ecuador. There is also a large number of whites, mostly of Spanish descent. Some descendants of the early European and American colonists on the islands also still remain on the islands.
In 1959, approximately 1,000 to 2,000 people called the islands their home. In 1972 a census was done in the archipelago and a population of 3,488 was recorded. By the 1980s, this number had risen to more than 15,000 people, and 2006 estimates place the population around 40,000 people.
Five of the islands are inhabited: Baltra, Floreana, Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.
Galapagos ConservationThough the first protective legislation for the Galápagos was enacted in 1930 and supplemented in 1936, it was not until the late 1950s that positive action was taken to control what was happening to the native flora and fauna. In 1955, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature organized a fact-finding mission to the Galápagos. Two years later, in 1957, UNESCO, in cooperation with the government of Ecuador, sent another expedition to study the conservation situation and choose a site for a research station.
In 1959, the centenary year of Charles Darwin's publication of The Origin of Species, the Ecuadorian government declared 97.5% of the archipelago's land area a national park, excepting areas already colonized. The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) was founded the same year. The core responsibility of CDF, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) constituted in Belgium, is to conduct research and provide the research findings to the government for effective management of Galápagos.
In 1986, the 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 sq mi.) of ocean surrounding the islands was declared a marine reserve, second in size only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. In 1990, the archipelago became a whale sanctuary. UNESCO recognized the islands in 1978 as a World Heritage Site and in 1985, as a biosphere reserve.
Visiting GalapagosVisiting the Galapagos Islands is a life time experience, there is no other place on earth that can compare to these magical archipelago; revolutionary theories and studies have been inspire by these unique place, their visitors have always been captivated by its mystical and fragile wilderness . Let the Galapagos Islands reach your heart and soul for the rest of your life.
How to Get ThereGalapagos has two airports the biggest one is in Baltra island, and the other is in San Cristobal island both receive daily flights from mainland Ecuador, there is tree local airlines serving these route Aerogal, Tame, Lan Ecuador. From mainland the traveler can departure from Quito and Guayaquil. Private flights can arrive to both airports Baltra and San Cristobal; customs must be done at mainland Ecuador. If the aircraft will remain in Galapagos during its owner visit it must remain at the San Cristobal airport G.L.C. can coordinate and arrange all the logistics concerning this issue.
Arriving in your own yacht or sailboat is permitted either just for transit or to cruise the Islands for these last option the visitor must have a permit granted from the Ecuadorian authorities and the Galapagos National Park authorities G.L.C. Can arrange all permits needed on these matter for further information go to Yacht Services.
Galapagos National Park TaxesAll visitors must pay the Galapagos national park which is $100 usd dollars tax for visiting the park protected areas per person and a $10 usd dollars transit card per person is highly recommended to carry cash. The $10 usd dollar transit card is paid at the departure mainland airport; the $100 usd dollar tax is paid upon arriving to the Galapagos airport. If the visitor is arriving on a private aircraft both fees can be paid at any of the two Galapagos airports.
What to PackMost excursions in the Galapagos take place on rocky trails, therefore is important to have the adequate gear:
Pair of Sneakers
Long and short sleeve lightweight shirts
Long lightweight pants
Bathing suit & swimming gear
A windbreaker or light jacket
Sunglasses and sunscreen
A walking stick if needed (most yachts can provide one)
Cameras and extra batteries
Galapagos National Park Rules
BaltraBaltra (South Seymour) Island. Baltra is a small flat island located near the centre of the Galápagos the biggest airport in the archipelago is located on these island. The island is very arid, and vegetation consists of salt bushes, prickly pear cacti and palo santo trees; it was created by geological uplift.
BartoloméBartolomé (Bartholomew) Island. Bartolomé Island is a volcanic islet; it is one of the "younger" islands in the Galápagos archipelago. This island is one of the few that is home to the Galapagos penguin which is the only wild penguin species that lives on the Equator.
DarwinDarwin (Culpepper) Island. This island is named after Charles Darwin It has an area of 1.1 square kilometers (0.4 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 168 meters (551 ft). Here fur seals, frigates, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, whales, marine turtles, and red-footed and Nazca boobies can be seen.
EspañolaEspañola (Hood) Island. Española is the oldest island at around 3.5 million years, and the southernmost in the group. Due to its remote location, Española has a large number of endemic species. Española has two visitor sites. Gardner Bay is a swimming and snorkeling site, and offers a great beach. Punta Suarez has migrant, resident, and endemic wildlife, including brightly colored marine iguanas, Española lava lizards, hood mockingbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, tropicbirds, Galapagos hawks, 3 species of Darwin's finches, and the waved albatross.
Suarez PointIs located west of the Española Island. Española is known as one of the older islands, with an estimated age of 3.3 million years. Basaltic lava rocks cover much of the island. Albatrosses are present in Española from April to November or December, marine iguanas, the Galapagos hawk, a variety of mockingbird, lava lizards, Darwin’s finches are considered endemic to this island. Besides the wildlife on this island a major attraction is El Soplador (a blowhole) located on a cliff, the water rises up 20 to 25 feet, depending on the intensity of the waves.
Garner BayIs located on the north Coast of Española Island. The visiting area is defined by two beaches. The main attraction is the colony of sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki), which inhabit the beach in great quantity during the breeding season.
OsbornIs located off the coast of Espanola Island there is no landing at these site the main activity is snorkeling and swimming. The area is well known for its rich marine life one can never guess what might come across the visitor’s path.
FernandinaFernandina (Narborough) Island. The name was given in honor of King Ferdinand II of Aragon, who sponsored the voyage of Columbus. Fernandina has an area of 642 square kilometers (248 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 1,494 meters (4,902 ft). The visiting site Punta Espinosa is a narrow stretch of land where hundreds of marine iguanas gather, largely on black lava rocks. The famous flightless cormorants inhabit this island, as do Galápagos penguins, pelicans, Galápagos sea lions and Galápagos fur seals.
|Is a narrow ledge of lava and sand that extends from the base of the volcano to the sea located at the northeastern tip of Fernandina island. Punta Espinoza is famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and as the habitat of unique species like the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk,|
FloreanaFloreana (Charles or Santa María) Island. It was named after Juan José Flores, the first President of Ecuador, during whose administration the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago. It has an area of 173 square kilometers (67 sq mi) and a maximum elevation of 640 meters (2,100 ft). It is one of the islands with the most interesting human history, and one of the earliest to be inhabited. The main attraction of these islands is post office bay, since the 18th century whalers kept a wooden barrel that served as post office so that mail could be picked up and delivered to their destinations, also near the barrel a trail can be followed to the entrance to a lava tunnel where the visitor can enter an explore. Flamingos and green sea turtles can be seen. The Devils Crown an underwater volcanic cone is a spectacular snorkeling site.
Baroness Viewing Point
|Is located on the north Shore of Floreana Island in La Olla Bay. It is a basaltic tuff formation between Cormorant Point and Post Office Bay. During the panga (dingy) ride you can observe several marine species such as golden eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, mullets and eventually Galapagos penguins. This site is|
Cormorant Point & Devils Crown
|Cormorant Point is located on the north Coast of Floreana Island. The trail has an approximate distance of 720 meters; the trail leads the visitor to viewing site above a lagoon where one can observe a large colony of Flamingos, the same path will end in a white sand beach which is a nesting area for sea turtles, large|
|Or Post Office Bay is a historic site that recalls the days of the whalers, when they came for supplies of Galapagos tortoises and water. Presumably a whaling boat captain placed a barrel in the eighteenth century for those who pass through the bay to leave mail and|
|Is a small Islet off the coast of Floreana Island, disembarking is not allowed at this visiting site, although most yachts who have this visiting site on their itinerary will do a panga (dingy) ride around the islet followed by an exceptional snorkeling activity|
|An unofficial visitor site only visited under special arrangement. Visit the Wittmer pension and small settlement of Puerto Velasco lbarra. Its famous resident, Margaret Whitmer, arrived to Floreana in the 1930’s and just recently passed away. Today the|
GenovesaGenovesa (Tower) Island. It has an area of 14 square kilometers (5.4 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 76 meters (249 ft) .This Island is formed by the remaining edge of a large caldera that is submerged. At Darwin Bay, frigate birds and swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal species of gull in the world, can be seen. Red-footed boobies, noddy terns, lava gulls, tropic birds, doves, storm petrels and Darwin finches are also in sight.
|Located on Genovesa Island its Initial highlights are the nesting colonies of the common frigate, the Nazca booby and the swallow-tailed gulls. We also find here nests of red-footed booby, which is the largest nesting colony of Galapagos for pelagic bird.|
|The visitor site of El Barranco is located in the southern part of Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island. The trail is on volcanic rock that has a length of 1.5 km, everywhere one looks, there are masked boobies on the ground and RedFooted boobies in the trees. Snorkeling can be done at the beach or alongside the|
IsabelaIsabela (Albemarle) Island. This island was named in honor of Queen Isabela. With an area of 4,640 square kilometers (1,792 sq mi), it is the largest island of the Galápagos. Its highest point is Vulcan Wolf, with an altitude of 1,707 meters (5,600 ft). On this island, Galápagos penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, pelicans and Sally Lightfoot crabs abound. It is the only island to have the equator run across it, the third-largest human settlement of the archipelago, Puerto Villamil, is located at the southeastern tip of the island; land iguanas and Galápagos tortoises can be observed, as well as Darwin finches, Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves and very interesting lowland vegetation At the skirts and calderas of the volcanoes of Isabela.
|Is located at the east base of the Alcedo volcano. The trail starts on the beach where a wet landing is made, the tour is approximately 3200m, and runs through sand substrates, pumice rock, lava, coral and vegetable formations in a coastal area that has had a lift; in addition burrows of land iguanas can be seen|
Caleta Tagus Cove
|Is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. The route of the trail is about 1800 meters. This was a favorite spot for pirates and whalers. At the start of the walk, going up and passing the staircase, is a small cave where we find inscriptions dating to the 1800s, proof of this visits to the islands|
|The islet Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely calm turquoise waters, where you can appreciate sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, etc. The bay is connected to a crevice of crystal clear water, that’s shallow and when the tide is low, the entrance closes.|
|Is located northeast of Sierra Negra volcano at an altitude of approximately 860 miles above sea level. There is access by footpath and horse trail, which are clearly marked. Volcan Chico is just northwest of the caldera, so it is not affected by the drizzle that always precipitates into the southeastern sector of the high|
|Is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. It has a panoramic view of three volcanoes, the|
|Is located on Isabela Island`s west shore, this site is extremely interesting for observing marine life. Galapagos penguins are often seen on the rocky formations s one of the best places to observe this species at the Galapagos.|
Punta Vicente Roca
|Located on the most western northern tip of Isabela Island is a spectacular landscape view of the Ecuador’s volcano’s caldera. The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take panga (dingy) ride along the cliff that are the remains of the volcano or snorkel in a partially sunken cave which is rich in marine life and a|
Sierra Negra Volcano
|Is the second widest crater in the world. From this viewpoint, you have fantastic sights to the wide crater. From here we can hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands|
White Tipped Reef Shark Cana
|Also known as Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil. It has a small bay of completely calm turquoise waters, where you can appreciate sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, etc. The bay is connected to a crevice of crystal clear water, that’s shallow and when the tide is low, the entrance closes.|
Wall of Tears
|Is a historic site in Isabela. Between 1946 and 1959 Isabela was a penal colony, where prisoners were made build a wall with huge blocks of lava as punishment. The wall is 100 metres long and 7 metres high. Due to the arduous labour and harsh conditions in which the prisoners lived, this site is known as the wall of tears.|
|The Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela is located 1.5 km from Puerto Villamil. You can walk or drive. In this Breeding Center populations from South Isabela (Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul): Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Union, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma have been reproduced in captivity. In total there are 330|
|The Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela is located 1.5 km from Puerto Villamil. You can walk or drive. In this Breeding Center populations from South Isabela (Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul): Cazuela, Cinco Cerros, Roca Union, San Pedro, Tables and Cerro Paloma have been reproduced in captivity. In total|
MarchenaMarchena (Bindloe) Island. Named after Fray Antonio Marchena, it has an area of 130 square kilometers (50 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 343 meters (1,125 ft). Galápagos hawks and sea lions inhabit this island, and it is home to the Marchena lava lizard, an endemic animal.
|Is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. This small island has one of the largest populations of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas (Orcinus orca) feeding on sea lions.|
North SeymourNorth Seymour Island. Its name was given after an English nobleman, Lord Hugh Seymour. It has an area of 1.9 square kilometers (0.7 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 28 meters (92 ft), just north of the Baltra Airport is the small islet of North Seymour which was created by seismic uplift, rather than being of volcanic origin. North Seymour is an extraordinary place for breeding birds, and is home to one of the largest populations of nesting blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds. Pairs of blue-footed boobies can be seen conducting their mating ritual as they offer each other gifts, whistle and honk, stretch their necks towards the sky, spread their wings, and dance showing off their bright blue feet. Magnificent Frigate birds perch in low bushes, near the boobies, while watching over their large chicks.
PinzónPinzón (Duncan) Island. Named after the Pinzón brothers, captains of the Pinta and Niña caravels, it has an area of 18 square kilometers (7 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 458 meters (1,503 ft).
PintaPinta (Abingdon) Island. Named after the Pinta caravel, it has an area of 60 km2 (23 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 777 meters (2,549 ft). Pinta Island was home to the last remaining Pinta tortoise, called Lonesome George. He does not live on Pinta Island any longer, but at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, where scientists are attempting to breed him. Sea lions, Galápagos hawks, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and dolphins can be seen here.
RábidaRábida (Jervis) Island. It bears the name of the convent of Rábida, where Columbus left his son during his voyage to the Americas. It has an area of 4.9 square kilometers (1.9 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 367 meters (1,204 ft). Rábida has a distinctive red color due to the high concentration of iron that was contained in the lava at the moment of its formation.
San CristóbalSan Cristóbal (Chatham) Island. It bears the name of the patron saint of seafarers, "St. Christopher". Its English name was given after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. It has an area of 558 square kilometers (215 sq mi) and its highest point rises to 730 meters (2395 ft). This islands hosts frigate birds, sea lions, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, tropicbirds, marine iguanas, dolphins and swallow-tailed gulls. The largest freshwater lake in the archipelago, Laguna El Junco, is located in the highlands of San Cristóbal. The capital of the province of Galápagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, lies at the southern tip of the island.
|Is located in San Cristobal Island. The tour offered by the Interpretation Center facilities takes the visitor through the history of the islands in the context of their geological formation, first human settlements and history, today’s conservation issues and efforts.|
|Is located on the north Coast of San Cristóbal Island; the trail at this visitor’s site can be done in about three hours, including the panga (dingy) ride. The site offers an excellent landscape, a long powder-like sandy beach where one can swim and snorkel with an excellent view of Kicker Rock on the horizon,there is|
|It is located in the South East of San Cristobal, to 22.4 km from Port Baquerizo Moreno. Access is by road, the bus ride lasts approximately 40 minutes. The visiting site is a breeding center for giant tortoises , the infrastructure has been integrated into a large corral of 1415m2 and includes: a visitors’ center (including an|
|The hike from the beach to Media Luna cone is long, about 5 Km one-way and may be excessively hot since there is no circulation of wind. It is important to note that the walk takes a minimum 3 1/2 hours roundtrip; suggest to the group to carry enough fresh water.|
|Is located on the north Coast of San Cristóbal Island; the trail at this visitor’s site can be done in about three hours, including the panga (dingy) ride. The site offers an excellent landscape, a long powder-like sandy beach where one can swim and snorkel with an excellent view of Kicker Rock on the horizon, there is|
|Is a piece of coast that has been named for the large number of sea lions resting on the rocks and sand. Button mangrove, white mangrove, chala, palo santo, cotton, Tiquilia, morning glory and other flora species can be seen a long the mark trail.|
Laguna El Junco
|In town you can hire a car or bus to carry the group to El Junco. During the winter, January to April, there are often heavy rains. During the rainy season there may be fog. Also one can get to El Progreso and then walk from there, if the group is very active. The walk from Progreso may last for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (depending|
|Located a few kilometers from the breeding site Cerro Colorado is and open beach of white sand long ideal for resting and swimming there is many marine bird species feeding that can be seen, the visitor can take long walks along the shore and enjoy a wonderful setting.|
|Is located at the east end of San Cristóbal Island. The trail includes an olivine beach approximately 90 meters and a trail that ascends to the top of a volcanic tuff hill passing through several natural viewpoint. This is the only site in the Galapagos Islands, where you can watch the three species of boobies and 2 species of frigates nesting in the same area.|
|Is a geological formation off the shoreline of San Cristobal Island. Diving and snorkeling at this site is one of the most spectacular in the Galapagos.|
Santa CruzSanta Cruz (Indefatigable) Island (Galápagos). Given the name of the Holy Cross in Spanish, its English name derives from the British vessel HMS Indefatigable. It has an area of 986 square kilometers (381 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 864 meters (2834 ft). The town of Puerto Ayora is the largest human population in the archipelago. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service are located here. The Highlands of Santa Cruz offer exuberant flora, and are famous for the lava tunnels. Large tortoise populations are found here. Black Turtle Cove is a site surrounded by mangroves, which sea turtles, rays and small sharks sometimes use as a mating area. Cerro Dragón, known for its flamingo lagoon, is also located here.
|Is located on Santa Cruz Island; the guided tour thru the station’s visiting sites is an educational experience. The visitor can enter the giant tortoise corrals and have a close look to this ancient giants Tortoises of this corral are accustomed to humans; it is an excellent spot for visitors to be photographed with|
|Is a 40 min drive to the highlands of Santa Cruz from Puerto Ayora, the visiting site is a private ranch where the tortoise are on the wild, there is some mud small lagoons where the giant tortoise gather. This is a great site to see the tortoise at their natural environment.|
|Is located in the northern part of Santa Cruz Island, it consists of two beaches that have a combined length of about 1 km long. The name Las Bachas originates from the Second World War, when the American army left two barges discarded on the beach, the first|
Black Turtle Cove
|Is located on Santa Cruz Island conform by a red mangrove lagoon is a nursery for many sharks and rays. It is also a great location to observe mating sea turtles, there are large groups of resting white-tip reef sharks, schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays, and a few juvenile scalloped hammerhead sharks and|
|Is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island, and consists of a trail that runs through three different environments. At this visiting site you can find vegetation of typical the intertidal zone and dry zone, the beach is very rocky, at high tide it’s a nice place for snorkeling, there is a lagoon where Flamingos can|
|This area has received much use in recent years due to several trails created that lead to the two craters. Guides are asked to use only the National Park trail to avoid further erosion and deterioration of the area. In 1989 a circular patharound the largest crater was|
Santa FéSanta Fé (Barrington) Island. Named after a city in Spain, it has an area of 24 square kilometers (9 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 259 meters (850 ft). Weathered cliffs provide a haven for swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds and shear-waters petrels. Santa Fe species of land iguanas are often seen, as well as lava lizards.
SantiagoSantiago (San Salvador, James) Island. Its name is equivalent to Saint James in English; it is also known as San Salvador, after the first island discovered by Columbus in the Caribbean Sea. This island has an area of 585 square kilometers (226 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 907 meters (2976 ft). At Sulivan Bay marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks can be seen.
|The Sullivan Bay lava field is a variety of interesting patterns, this site is of great geological interest. The walk takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half. Returning to the shoreline black and white Oystercatchers can be seen fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools. After exploring the lava|
|Is a black sand beach located on the west side of James Bay and northwest of Santiago Island. there is a colony of fur seals and marine iguanas, snorkeling from the beach is a common activity at this site.|
|Is located less than an hour north of Puerto Egas, served as a safe haven for pirates, sailors and whalers during the 18th and 19th century. Anchoring in the protected bay they were able to make much needed repairs to their ships while other men went a shore to stock up on salt, tortoises, fresh water and firewood.|
|Is a small islet located near the south-east coast of Santiago. It’s shaped like a hat. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows.|
WolfWolf (Wenman) Island. This island was named after the German geologist Theodor Wolf. It has an area of 1.3 square kilometers (0.5 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 253 meters (830 ft). Here, fur seals, frigate birds, Nazca and red-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sharks, whales, dolphins and swallow-tailed gulls can be seen. The most famous resident is the vampire finch, which feeds partly on blood pecked from other birds, and is only found on this island.
Daphne MajorDaphne Major. A small island directly north of Santa Cruz and directly west of Baltra, this very inaccessible island appears, though unnamed, on Ambrose Cowley's 1684 chart.
South PlazaSouth Plaza Island (Plaza Sur). It is named in honor of a former president of Ecuador, General Leonidas Plaza. It has an area of 0.13 square kilometers (0.05 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 23 meters (75 ft). Iguanas (land, marine) are abundant, and large numbers of birds can be observed from the cliffs at the southern part of the island, including tropic birds and swallow-tailed gulls. The flora of South Plaza includes Opuntia cactus and Sesuvium plants, which form a reddish carpet on top of the lava formations along the trail.