Island information

Below you can find information about each island on the Galapagos.
Galapagos Islands Map

Baltra:
Baltra is a small island where you can find one of the two airports on the Galapagos. Most likely you will arrive here. The runway covers the whole island and there is not much to see, it has almost no flora and fauna.

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Santa Cruz:
This central located island is the second largest and has the most developed town of the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora. This island is also known as Indefatigable. Many of the cruises start from the harbor here and all the cruises visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. In Puerto Ayora you can find almost everything you might need (Internet, ATMs, bars, etc.).

On this island are several visitor sites:

  • Charles Darwin Research Station: information center, museum and breeding center for young turtles. You can learn more about the protection and conservation of the islands. And of course, you can see Lonesome George, the oldest turtle!
  • The Highlands of Santa Cruz in the National Park Cerro Dragon has flamingos, land iguanas, the vermilion flycatcher, the paint billed crake and the Galapagos rail.
  • In the El Chato tortoise reserve there are giant tortoises, the short eared owl, various finches, yellow warbler, the paint billed crake and the Galapagos rail to admire.
  • Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches of the Galapagos! By a paved footpath you reach a white sandy beach where marine iguanas walk in front of you. Tortuga Bay is known for mangrove forest, pelicans and occasionally flamingos. Above all you can swim and relax.
  • Conway bay: here you can see sea lions, iguanas and albatrosses.
  • Black Turtle Cove, by panga (small boat) you can reach the green mangrove forest where you can see the mangrove finch, sea turtles, lava herons, the white tipped reef shark, the black tipped reef shark and the Galapagos shark.
  • Las Bachas, also only accessible by panga, good for sunbathing and swimming. Behind the beach you will find a lake with flamingos.
  • Los Gemelos: a twin crater where you can go by panga.

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Plazas:
These are two small islands East of Santa Cruz. South Plaza is known for the red, low ground vegetation and an optunia cactus forest with large land iguanas. To reach the forest you get past a sea lion colony and the walk ends at high cliffs. Here you can see different birds nest; the swallow-tailed gull, the red-billed tropic-bird, the brown pelican and the Audubon´s shearwater.

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North Seymour:
This little island is located North of Baltra and has much wild life. When you visit this island, you walk along the most active nesting places of sea birds. This island is the favorite spot of the frigate bird and blue-footed booby. Other wild life you can see here are the sea lion, the swallow tail gull, the land iguana, the marine iguana, the lava lizard, Galapagos snake and seagulls. Are you diving here? Then you will find many reef fish and perhaps the hammer shark.

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Mosquera:
A small sandy island in the channel between Santa Cruz and Seymour. This island offers a beautiful swim opportunity with sea lions. You can also enjoy the pelicans and blue-footed boobies. Daphne: These are two islands, minor and major, west of Seymour. Here the famous study of the finches took place. The craters of these islands contain hundreds of blue-footed booby nests and the edges of the craters contain masked- and red-footed booby nests. Red-billed tropic-birds are nesting in the caves of the cliffs.

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Santa Fe
:
Santa Fe is one of the oldest islands, also called Barrington and is located between Santa Cruz and San Cristóbal. On this island you can walk into a forest with high optunia cactuses. You can also find the Palo Santo (holy wood) tree, which has a pleasant smell. In the highlands you can find the Santa Fe land iguana, only to be found on this island. There is a nice bay for snorkeling where you might see the Santa Fe marine iguanas, sea lions, various birds and the white tipped reef shark.

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San Cristóbal: San Cristóbal or Chatham Island is located in the East of the Galapagos Islands. It has the largest population after Santa Cruz. The capital is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and here you find the other airport on the Galapagos Islands. San Crisóbal is the only island where you can find the Chatam funster and Chatam lava lizard. Other points of interest are:

  • Lake El Junto: this is the only freshwater lake on the Galapagos. Here you can see the frigate birds taking a bath and observe the white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules.
  • With a little luck you can see giant marine turtle at Los Galapagos in the North of the island.
  • At Turtle Bay, as well as Kicker Rock, it is worthwhile to go snorkeling and swimming with sea lions. You can find volcanic formations, flamingos and all three boobies in this spot.

San Cristobal has beautiful beaches to relax, swim and enjoy the sun.

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Los Lobos:
The island of sea lions! It is a rocky island where you can find the largest colony of sea lions and blue-footed boobies. During the walk you get to see the lava lizards and from the island you can swim with sea lions.

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Floreana:
This is the fifth largest island and is also known as Santa Maria or Charles. Only on this island you will find the Floreana tree finch. It has various attractions and two mooring sites.

  • Asilo del paz: an area for a day walk where you can find the Floreana tree finch.
  • Post Office Bay: do not forget your post! Here you will find a letterbox, a lava cave and a swimming beach.
  • Punta Cormorant has a green beach because of the mineral olivine that it contains. You can walk, snorkel and swim here. A big chance that you find flamingos in the lake. Other animals you might see are the American black-necked stilt, the American oystercatcher, willet, whimbrels, the white-cheeked pintail duck and the Galapagos hawk.
  • Corona the Diablo: the devil’s crown is a big rock formation in the sea where you can see the red beak tropic bird, the pelican, herons and lava gulls from a panga. If you are snorkeling you will see a variety of tropical fish, coral formations, sea lions and sometimes a shark.
  • Nearby is Champion Island: only here you will find the Floreana Mocking bird!

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Española:
This is the oldest and most Southern island of the Galapagos, also called Hood. Only on Española you can find the waved albatross and the hood mocking bird! This island offers a large variety of flora and fauna. Points of interest are:

  • Punta Suárez: a rocky trail leads trough colonies of masked- and blue-footed boobies and ends at high cliffs where the water hits the rocks with violence. Here you can find the waved albatross, the blue-foot booby, the masked booby, many marine iguanas, lava lizards, the hood mocking bird, oystercatchers, tropic birds, the Galapagos dove, the swallow-tailed gull, the large cactus finch, the small cactus finch and the warbler.
  • Gardner Bay: a beautiful white sandy beach, home to a large colony of sea lions and land iguanas, you can swim here. For snorkeling and diving the water is rough, but you can observe the white-tipped reef-shark, the hammerhead, sea stars and the red-lip bat fish.

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Gardner island:
North-East of Española, here you see various finches, nesting birds on the cliffs, sea lions and sometimes sea turtles.

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Isabela:
This is the largest island of the Galapagos, also called Albemarle, with Puerto Villamil as its capital. In Puerto Villamil is an information center and a turtle rescue center. This island has 5 volcanoes. Volcano Wolf with 1707m is the highest point of the Galapagos and volcano Alcedo has the largest tortoise population.

  • Villamil lake: near the town of Villamil are salt ponds where many birds, like flamingos come to feed.
  • Punta Garcia: a rough lava field where you can find the current cormorant.
  • Punta Vincente Roca: close to the volcano named Ecuador you can dive and snorkel.
  • Punta Tortuga: here you can only come with a panga to see mangrove forest surrounded by beach and the find the Mangrove finch.
  • Tagus Cove: a bay with sea lions and graffiti made by the crew of old ships. When you are snorkeling you have a chance to see turtles. During the hike you can make here, you come along penguins, flightless cormorants, pelicans, blue-foot boobies and red crabs.
  • Darwin lake: a saltwater lake, twice as saline as the sea, where you can walk to.
  • Urbina Bay: a dark volcanic sand beach with land iguanas. You find coral reef on land, cormorants, pelicans, giant turtles, marine iguanas and rays.
  • Elizabeth bay: this bay you can only reach by a panga to see rays, sea turtles, seabirds, shorebirds and penguins.
  • Punta Moreno: here you find lava flows from former eruptions. Furthermore you can enjoy a lava lake, a beautiful view of the volcanoes Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, lava herons, the white-cheeked pintail ducks and sometimes flamingos.
  • Isabela has several beaches.

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Santiago:
This island is the fourth largest and also known as San Salvador or James. The rugged terrain and extreme lava coastline with impressive cliffs are the beauty of this island.

  • Puerto Egas is the most visited spot on this island. It offers a coastline of black lava pools, caves and a large variety of wild life such as marine iguanas, the Galapagos fur seal, red crabs. Here you can go snorkeling to find tropical fish, sharks and octopuses. When walking you can visit the volcano Sugar Loaf and the remains of a salt mine. On your way you get to see lava lizards, finches, Galapagos doves and hawks.
  • Espumilla beach: a brown sandy beach, great for swimming. There is a lake with bathing birds including flamingos. Go for a walk to see various finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.
  • Buccaneer Cove: here you go with a panga along the cliffs to see the sea birds that use the cliffs as nests.
  • Sullivan Bay: walk over and through volcanic formations, black lava flows and lava bubbles. Here you can see the optunia cactus.

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Rabida:
This island is also known as Jervis and is located South of Santiago. It is a small island with dark red beaches (the sand contains iron) with sea lions, pelicans nest, blue-footed boobies and green mangroves. There is a freshwater lake with flamingos, white-cheeked pintail ducks and sea lions. You can go for a walk to see the Palo Santo trees and many optunia cactuses. It is a favorite spot for snorkeling to see the green sea turtle.

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Sombrero Chino
:
Also called ´Chinese Hat´ because of its shape that can be seen from the air. This small island, no larger than 250 square meters, is located South of Santiago. You can walk to see sea lions and marine iguanas. Swimming and snorkeling is possible, even with rays. And there are also penguins.

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Bartelomé:
This is a small island East of Santiago known for its panoramic views and penguins. After a walk through lava landscape and dry land vegetation you have a view of Pinnacle Rock, here lives a penguin colony. You can sail along the cliffs with a panga. One of the bays of Bartelomé is a breeding place for white-tipped reef sharks. There are also beaches for swimming and snorkeling with penguins, sea turtles and tropical fish. You can also find marine iguanas here.

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Fernandina:
The third largest island West of Isabela, also called Narborough. This island is unique as home for marine iguanas and you will find no introduced species.

Punta Espinoza is thé visitor site. Here you see the black lava formations with marine iguanas, crabs, current cormorant, Galapagos penguins, turtles, sea lions, petrels and more. Furthermore, this island offers the lava cactus, lava formations and mangrove with tiger rays.

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Darwin:
The smallest island from the Galapagos, 100 km North-West of the other Galapagos islands, and sometimes called Culpepper. It has no mooring sites and is visited only by diving trips. The hammer sharks, whale shark and different tropical fish, are all to be seen here. On and around the island with its high cliffs, you see seals, frigate birds, marine iguanas, swallow tail gulls, sea lions, whales, turtles, dolphins, red-footed boobies, masked boobies and more.

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Wolf:
These are five small islands together and are also 100 km North-West of the rest of the islands. Like Darwin island it has no mooring places and the water around this island is used for diving. The marine life here is fantastic! What can you see here and around the island? Red-footed boobies, masked boobies, seagulls, frigate birds, vampire finches, whale sharks, hammerheads, seals, shrimps, marine iguanas, dolphins and manta rays.

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Genovesa:
The only island completely North of the equator which can be visited. It is also called Tower. The bird life is enormous on this island with; lava gulls, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, red-footed boobies, wandering tattler, whimbrels, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrals, Galapagos doves, short-eared owls, Galapagos owls, large ground finches, small ground finches, large cactus finches. With a panga you can snorkel to see hammerheads.

  • Prince Philip steps: mooring where you can walk trough dry-forest vegetation to get to several high cliffs to see nesting seabirds.
  • Darwin Bay Beach: Here you have coral beach and colonies of seabirds.

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Pinta:
Or Abington, the original home of Lonesome George. He is the only survivor of the endemic turtle species of Pinta. The island is located entirely North of the equator. There are no visitor sites but there are swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, sparrow hawks and seals. Marchena: Like Pinta and Genovesa this island is also located entirely North of the equator. Around this island, also known as Bindloe, you will find good diving sites. There is no mooring site.

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Marchena:
Like Pinta and Genovesa this island is also located entirely North of the equator. Around this island, also known as Bindloe, you will find good diving sites. There is no mooring site.

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