On this page, you will find information about the interesting tourist attractions in the “Enchanted Islands”. Check this link about our yachts.
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San Cristobal Island – Chatham Island
- Location: Most Eastern Island, 80km east from Puerto Ayora.
- Facilities: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno has the Interpretation Center, cafes, souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels and some services.
- Visitor sites: Lobos Islands, Kicker Rock (León Dormido), Loberia, Interpretation Center, El Junco Lagoon, Frigatebird Hill.
Lobos Island is located north of San Cristobal. Here it is possible to find sea lions on the lava shores. (snorkeling).
Highlights: Sea lions, Blue footed boobies, Great frigatebirds.
The center offers the visitor an opportunity to learn about the natural and human history of the islands.
Santa Cruz Island – Indefatigable Island
- Location: Central Island
- Facilities: Puerto Ayora has hotels (from first class to economic), restaurants, bars, internet cafes, shops, dive centers, travel agencies and more services.
- Visitor Sites: Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Station, Las Grietas, Tortuga Bay, Highlands and Twin Craters.
Charles Darwin Station
The Charles Darwin Station introduces us to the conservation programs of the area. Here you will find the giant tortoises that gave the archipelago its name, see the famous Lonesome George, the last survivor of the Pinta Island tortoises. You will also see land iguanas.
Highlights: Giant tortoises, Lonesome George, Darwin Station exhibits, Opuntia Cactus, souvenir shopping.
Santa Cruz Highlands
The green landscape of this area is a sharp contrast to the blue of the sea and the small islands that can be seen on the horizon.
This area is dominated by Salesia trees and Giant tortoises that can be encountered almost anywhere on the trail inside or outside of the second biggest Giant Tortoise Reserve.
The road that connects Puerto Ayora with Baltra passes between Los Gemelos, two large craters formed by the collapse of an empty magma chamber.
Highlights: Scalesia trees, Giant tortoises, Galapagos and veermilion flycatchers, owls.
Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove)
It stands out as one of Santa Cruz´s best costal sites; this is one of the best sites to see schools of spotted eagle and golden rays; red, white and black mangroves, herons and pelicans are also there. The site is accesible only by panga. LANDING IS NOT ALLOWED.
Española Island- Hood Island
- Location: Isolated, most southern island, 90km southeast of Puerto Ayora.
- Facilities: None. Wet landing at Gardner Bay, dry landing at Punta Suarez.
- Visitor Sites: Punta Suarez, Gardner Bay.
Punta Suarez is on a promontory of lava boulders that protect the sandy bay from rolling waves. The trail passes a small beach with sea lions, further along the low cliffs inland Nazca and blue footed boobies nest close to the trail. The trail continues toward the cliffs and the blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water spurts high in the air, similar to a geyser. Further up the cliff is the place where the waved albatross nests (breed from March to January).
Highlights: Blue footed boobies, Nazca boobies, waved albatrosses, tropicbirds, doves, swallow-tailed gulls, Galapagos hawks, Darwin finches, Española mockingbirds, lava lizards and marine iguanas.
Gardner Bay features one of the longest beaches in the archipelago, 2km of white coral sand; this is a good opportunity to enjoy some beach time. The activities that this place offers to you are: walking, sitting and relaxing, watching sea lions, swimming and a fantastic opportunity for snorkeling.
Highlights: Sea lions, tropical fish, mockingbirds, Galapagos hawks (occasionally).
Santa Fe Island – Barrington Island
- Location: 20km southeast from Puerto Ayora.
- Facilities: None, wet landing.
- Visitor sites: Santa Fe’s opuntias are the tallest of their type in the Archipelago; the Island is covered with arid-zone vegetation and the trail leads to a place where endemic land iguanas can be seen. The island offers one of the best places to enjoy time with sea lions, most sea lion pups are born in garua (cold, misty) season.
Highlights: Juvenile sea lions, land iguanas, one of the best places for Galapagos hawks, forest of giant Opuntia Cactus, sea turtles (occasionally).
Genovesa Island – Tower Island
- Location: 125km north of Puerto Ayora.
- Facilities: None, wet landing at Darwin Bay and dry landing at El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps).
- Visitor Sites: Darwin Bay / El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s steps).
Genovesa is geologically young; it was formed by the remaining edges of a sunken crater that forms Darwin Bay. Lava gulls will probably be the first birds you see and you will be surprised by the amount of seabird activity around the cliffs (Red footed Boobies).
Highlights: Swallow-tailed gulls, mockingbirds, red footed boobies, sea lions, lava gulls, frigate birds, Darwin Finches (large ground finch and large cactus finch), herons, marine iguanas.
El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps)
Usually referred to as Prince Phillip’s Steps or El Barranco, here you will climb to a plateau that is part of the stretch of land that surrounds Darwin Bay on its eastern side. You will come across red-footed boobies nesting in the Palo Santo trees, Genovesa supports some 140.000 pairs of red-footed boobies. The trail passes through Palo Santo and Muyuyo trees, you also will see many Galapagos storm-petrels nesting in colonies and flying all over. Short-eared owls can be seen if you are lucky, they actively hunt during the day for storm petrels and young red footed boobies.
Highlights: Great frigatebirds, red footed boobies, swallow tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, Galapagos storm petrels, short-eared owls.
Santiago Island – San Salvador Island
- Location: Central in the Archipelago, 85km northwest of Puerto Ayora.
- Facilities: None, wet landings.
- Visitor Sites: Sullivan Bay and Puerto Egas.
Sullivan Bay on the east coast marks the edge of a vast lava flow which was formed about 100 years ago. It is interesting for its evidence of volcanism; the lava you will see is of the pahoehoe type. Another important attraction is the Mollugo, a small pioneer plant that grows in the lava fissures.
Highlights: Pahoehoe lava field, reddish spatter cones hornitos.
Bartolome Island – Bartholomew Island
- Location: East of Santiago 115km northwest of Port Ayora.
- Facilities: Dry landing and marked trail to summit / wet landing on the beach. Bartolome is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the archipelago. You can climb to the highest point of the island, the main reason to climb the cone is get up close with the volcanic phenomena packed into this small island, lava tunnels and lava flows, the view is spectacular. Galapagos penguins live on the shores of the island; you can also swim around Pinnacle Rock and see them.
Highlights: Galapagos penguins, sea lions, brown pelicans, sharks, lava lizards, sea turtles.
Floreana Island – Charles Island or Santa Maria Island
- Location: Central Island 55km south of Puerto Ayora.
- Facilities: One hotel in Puerto Velasco Ibarra.
- Visitor Sites: Punta Cormorant, Post Office, Devil’s Crown.
At Punta Cormorant, the landing is on the beach with green olivine sand. A short trail leads to the lagoon where the flamingos wade through the water. A longer trail goes over the hill to a white beach of ground coral; the beach is a nesting area for Green Sea Turtles.
Highlights: Flamingoes (occasionally), water birds, Darwin finches, marine turtles.
A large wooden barrel was placed at Post Office Bay in the 18th century by a group of British sailors to leave messages; the barrel has been replaced many times. From that time tourists have used it as a post office. Visitors can check in the barrel, if they find a letter or postcard they can take it. This is a non-traditional post office service.
This site is a volcano crater which has been eroded by the waves. The shallow water provides one of the best places for snorkeling in the islands, the inside of the crown is a perfect environment for coral reef and marine life.