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Places to Visit in Galapagos Islands

Baltra (South Seymour)

One of the few islands with an airport. During WWII this island was known as Beta and was occupied by the US Air Force and the US Navy as a Military Base. At that time this airport had the largest airstrip in South America.


Perhaps the most photographed location in the entire archipelago. There is a wooden staircase to the summit providing a stunning view of two beautiful bays. Sea lions and penguins can be seen around Pinnacle Rock. There is a sandy beach with great swimming and snorkeling. This is one of those selected locations where seeing penguins in tropical waters can be a revealing discovery. 

Daphne Major

There are no visitor sites on to be visited on a cruise as it is almost impossible to disembark there. From the zodiac you can observe Darwin’s finches, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Brown Noddies. There are some dive sites.

Española (Hood)

One landing location is Gardner Bay, a coral white-sand beach with sea lions and mockingbirds. Swimming and snorkeling can be done at the beach and nearby islets. Puerto Suarez is another landing location where visitors can walk on lava rocks along a trail dotted with nests of blue-footed boobies and masked boobies, a colony of marine iguanas (endemic to Hood), waved albatrosses (April-December) and a blow hole. There are also sea lions, Galapagos doves and Darwin's finches. 

Fernandina (Narborough)

This is the youngest island of the Galapagos group. The landing location is Punta Espinoza. Walk among the hundreds of marine iguanas on black lava rocks and see penguins, pelicans, sea lions and mangrove forests. Flightless cormorants are found here, one of the few places. The walking grounds will reveal the beautiful shapes of lava once it has cooled off. At this location, few rocks are older than 400 years of age.

Floreana (Charles)

There is one village, Puerto Velasco Ibarra. Post Office Bay has a famous barrel, a do-it-yourself postal service set up by 18th century whalers. Point Cormorant has an olivine-crystal beach and pink flamingos inhabiting a secluded lagoon. A short walk away is a white-sand beach where sea turtles nest (December to May).Nearby is Devil's Crown with beautiful coral formations and great snorkeling.

Genovesa (Tower)

Tower is called "the bird island" because it is home to thousands of frigate birds, red-footed boobies, noddy terns, lava gulls, tropic birds, doves, storm petrels and Darwin's finches. Darwin Bay was formed after a caldera collapse. Its steep cliffs dominate the island. Good snorkeling along the amazing cliff-sides. At Prince Philip's Steps visitors can walk on lava rocks. There is a good possibility of seeing the unique Short-eared owl. Nazca boobies, great frigate birds, red-footed boobies, and flycatchers are outstanding representatives of the avian life forms on Tower. Sunsets here win the prize!

Isabela (Albermarle)

This is the largest island in the archipelago. It is the result of six large volcanic domes fused together. One site, Tagus Cove, is a natural harbor where centuries ago whalers and pirates left their ship's names painted or carved on the rocks. A walk uphill takes you around Darwin's Crater salt-water lake for a superb view. A dinghy ride along the shoreline lets you see penguins, flightless cormorants, boobies, pelicans and Sally Light foot crabs. Urbina Bay is on the central-west coast of the island at the foothills of Volcanoes Alcedo and Darwin. Highlights include large and colorful land iguanas, since the inland area includes excellent nesting grounds for them. Good possibilities of seeing giant tortoises in the wild (all year, numbers may vary according to seasonal conditions). Punta Moreno is on the central-south western coast of the island with spectacular views of volcanoes Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul. The main attraction is a compound of small brackish lagoons very much like a desert oasis with lagoon birds, including seasonal flamingos. This is an ideal place for observing the rare and reclusive gallinules. There are frequent sights of frigates, pelicans and other sea birds doing salt cleansing dives to the lagoon's surface. Punta Vicente Roca is a magnificent landscape which shows the uniqueness of the western volcanoes of Galápagos. This area is part of Ecuador Volcano, where a collapsed caldera floor is revealed after a major sinking of half of the whole volcano structure. This tropical area can have surprises like dolphins, whales, sea lions, sea birds, turtles, and more.

North Seymour

Palo Santo trees, colonies of blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and magnificent frigate birds. On the other side of the island, the waves crash onto the rocks and sea lions play in the surf. 

Rabida (Jervis)

Behind the island's red-sand beach, frequented by sea lions, is a flamingo lagoon. Pelicans and boobies nest in the vicinity. Nine species of finches have been spotted here.

San Cristobal (Chatham)

Follow the route of Charles Darwin and visit his first-ever island in Galápagos. Visitor sites include the Interpretation Center at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, as well as Isla Lobos. A walk up in the highlands is arranged for guests who take the week expedition.

Santa Cruz (Indefatigable)

Academy Bay (Puerto Ayora) is the town where the Charles Darwin Research Station is found. Giant tortoises are seen here and seasonally in the highlands where they graze on the pastures of local farms. Up in the highlands, the Pit Craters (Los Gemelos) is an outstanding area for bird watching, and observation of flora of the highlands. It is up here where amazing encounters with woodpecker finches have occurred. Moist conditions keep this epiphyte-laden environment with a fresh green look.

Santa Fe (Barrington)

Santa Fe was formed by uplifting, rather than by a volcano. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, different types of finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. A visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. Playful sea lions may accompany you during your snorkelling activities.

Santiago (James)

Sullivan Bay is the area that had James' latest volcanic activity in 1897. There are some fantastic lava formations. This is a good spot for snorkeling where pioneer marine species should be expected. At James Bay there is a black sand beach where the shoreline walk reveals a great assortment of marine-related species. There is great swimming and snorkeling. 

South Plaza

A small island packed to its steep-cliffed shoreline with fascinating natural life: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cactus, and vegetation that changes color with the seasons.