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Galapagos Islands

WESTERN ISLANDS

Bartolome

  • One of the most popular islands
  • Points of Interest: Lava fields and Pinnacle Rock and the sweeping panoramic views of Sullivan Bay from a nearby hilltop
  • Animals: penguins, turtles (Jan-Mar), lava lizards, sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks
  • Vegetation: Tiquilla nesiotica cactus, Chamaesyce, lava cactus, Scalesia, and mangroves

Santiago

  • Famous for its seaward caves which shelter Galapagos fur seals, its dramatic coastline and its lava flows (pahoehoe) are polished by the sea.
  • Points of Interest: Puerto Egas, Salt Mines, Buccaneer Cove, Sullivan Bay
  • Animals: fur seals, sea lions, herons, hawks, oystercatchers, finches, doves, white-tipped sharks, nesting area for sea turtles, marine iguanas, Sally light-foot crabs, mockingbirds, white-cheeked pintails, flamingos, Galapagos hawk, pelicans
  • Vegetation: mangroves, holy stick forest

Rabida

  • A small but beautiful island formed at the center of the islands' volcanic origin
  • Its shores have a stunning contrast between the red-tinted sand of its beaches and the vivid green of its mangroves
  • Animals: fur seals, pelicans, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, pelicans, sea lions

Isabela

  • Largest island in the archipelago (sea-horse shape)
  • Points of Interest: the old buccaneer and whalers' cove of Tagus Cove, panoramic view of three volcanos, visitor center at Puerto Villamil houses a tortoise rearing project, Moreno Point, Elizabeth Bay, Urbina Bay, Vicente Roca Point, Sierra Negra Volcano (basaltic caldera), The Wetlands, Tintoreras, Weeping Wall
  • Animals: giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, large marine iguanas, land iguanas, flamingos, brown pelicans, white-tip reef sharks, flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, Eagle rays, sea turtles, Flycatchers, Darwin's finches, mockingbirds, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos martins, terns, dolphins, whale watching, Nazca boobies, noddies, frigatebirds, ocean sunfish (mola mola), swallow-tailed gulls and hawks, white-cheeked pintails, whimbrels, common stiilts, yellow warbler
  • Vegetation: candelabra cactus, mangroves, button mangroves, white mangroves, carob trees, manzanillo forest

Fernandina

  • Youngest Galapagos island
  • Points of Interest: recent lava flows (last May 2005), Espinosa Point
  • Animals: marine iguanas, Sally light-foot crabs, Galapagos hawks, sea turtles
  • Vegetation: lava cacti; black, white, and red mangroves

EASTERN ISLANDS

Baltra (also known as South Seymour)

  • Baltra Airport is on Baltra Island
  • Visitors are transported by bus from the airport to the dock on the southeast coast of the island for a ferry boat or private transportation to the north shore of Santa Cruz Island
  • No visitor sites

North Seymour

  • Visitors' path takes you right past blue-footed boobies and Great and Magnificant Frigate birds, where every square inch of land and trees are inhabited by parents and chicks or courting couples
  • Animals: Great and Magnificant Frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, Great Blue Herons, Lava Herons, snakes, marine iguanas, sea lions
  • Vegetation: Palo Santo (holy stick trees), gray saltbush

Santa Cruz

  • Most populous island in the archipelago, with most of the population living in Puerto Ayora
  • Points of Interest: Tortuga Bay, Bachas Beach, sightseeing points for Black Turtle Cove and Dragon Hill, lava tubes, Charles Darwin Research Center, Highlands with endemic vegetation, Cerro Mesa Reserve
  • Animals: large colonies of Giant Galapagos tortoises, which can be visited in the wild; land iguanas, mockingbirds, Darwin finches, yellow warblers, Galapagos doves, flamingos, vermillion flycatcher
  • Vegetation: Palo Santo (holy stick trees), red and black mangoves, salt bushes, scalesia

Santa Fe

  • The flattest island of the archipelago with good views of the giant Opuntia (or Prickly Pear) forest
  • Animals: Galapagos hawks, various species of finches, Galapagos snake, sea-lions, turtles, and endemic sub-species of land iguanas
  • Vegetation: Santa Fe land iguana, sea lions

San Cristobal

  • The island’s main town, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is the administrative capital of the Galapagos Islands
  • Points of Interest: Pitt Point & Islet, view of Kicker Rock Point, the Junco lagoon, Cerro Brujo, Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve (La Galapaguera), Interpretation Center, Tijeretas Hill
  • Animals: three types of boobies, two species of frigatebirds, sea lions, black-necked stilts, Ruddy turnstones, whimbrels, other sandpiper species, white-cheeked pintails, lava gulls, giant tortoises (in captivity)

Floreana

  • Floreana includes many species of endemic vegetation such as the only flowering mangroves in the world and is one of the most famous Galapagos islands due to the mysterious murders that took place there in 1930s
  • Points of Interest: Post Office Bay, Cormorant Point (olivine and coralline-colored beaches), Champion Islet
  • Animals: flamingos, sea lions, dolphins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, herons, frigatebirds, pelicans, red-billed tropic birds, Floreana mockingbird, penguins, sea turtles, reef sharks
  • Vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus pinnatifidus, Galapagos milkwort

Espanola

  • Oldest Galapagos Island with stunning landscapes that include white-sand beaches and rocky outcrops
  • Points of Interest: Gardner Bay, blow-hole at Suarez Point
  • Animals: colonies of waved albatross (April to Dec.), largest colony of blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropic birds, masked boobies, marine iguanas, cactus finch, marine bird life, Galapagos doves, sea lions, mockingbirds, white-tipped sharks, rays, Sally light-foot crabs, wandering tattlers, turnstones, lava lizards, Galapagos hawks, nesting area for Green Pacific sea turtles
  • Vegetation: arid to transitional zone with predominantly thorny plans

Daphne

  • Eroded tuff cone formation
  • Animals: Darwin's finches, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, swallow-tailed gulls, brown noddies, frigatebirds
  • Vegetation: Bursera malacophyla (holy stick)

South Plaza

  • Island appears red due to vegetation covering
  • Animals: sea lions, land, marine, and Galapagos hybrid iguanas, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls
  • Vegetation: Opuntia cacti forest

 


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