Sort sites by:

   About these rankings

Where can I see:

  • What wildlife where?

    Select a species and filter sites by where might find them.

 

 

Galapagos Visitor Sites

Sorted by Overall Score

Click on each site for more information

  • Overall Score  equalizer
  • Española Island, Punta Suarez Española Island, Punta Suarez
    90%
    Española Island, Punta Suarez
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Galapagos hawk
    • check Giant opuntia cactus forest
    • check Mockingbirds
    • check Nazca booby
    • check Red-billed tropicbirds
    • check Sea lions
    • check Waved albatross
    Española Island, Punta Suarez

    A wet landing onto a beach with Sea Lions and colourful Marine Iguanas leads on to a 2km trail through Masked and Blue-Footed Booby colonies (be careful not to step on them!) to some magnificent cliffs with a blow-hole. Beyond here is the Galapagos' only Waved Albatross colony (Apr-Dec) - watch their somewhat clumsy attempts to take-off and land. Other animals including the Large cactus finch and Galapagos Hawk may also be seen.

    Site Score: 90%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Fernandina Island, Punta Espinoza Fernandina Island, Punta Espinoza
    90%
    Fernandina Island, Punta Espinoza
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    • check Galapagos hawk
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Sea lions
    Fernandina Island, Punta Espinoza

    Only a few hundred thousand years old, and free of invasive species, this is likely the most pristine island you'll see in your lifetime.  Its central volcano dominates the landscape, spreading lava fields all the way to the shore. The island's highlight features the flightless cormorant nesting site, "marine iguana city", penguins and if you're lucky, the Galapagos hawk.  Landing: Dry. Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 90%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela, Punta Vicente Roca Isabela, Punta Vicente Roca
    86%
    Isabela, Punta Vicente Roca
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Red-billed tropicbirds
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    Isabela, Punta Vicente Roca

    Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay that is well protected from ocean swells. This is a popular anchorage from which to take panga rides along the cliffs or to explore a partially sunken cave at the water’s edge. Blue-footed and Nazca boobies perch along the sheer walls, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. One of the top rated snorkeling spots in Galapagos. Landing: None: Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 86%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Genovesa Island, Prince Phillip's Steps Genovesa Island, Prince Phillip's Steps
    84%
    Genovesa Island, Prince Phillip's Steps
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Fur seals
    • check Nazca booby
    • check Red-footed booby
    Genovesa Island, Prince Phillip's Steps

    This site is notable for its variety and abundance of birdlife including red-footed and Nazca boobies, short-eared owls, red-billed tropicbirds, Galápagos swallows and Galápagos doves. Upon landing on a steep rocky stairway, visitors are treated to the site of small fur seal colony and a variety of marine life clinging to the rocks.  There are great views of lava plains near the end of the trail.  Landing: Dry (with slippery rocks). Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 84%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • North Seymour Island North Seymour Island
    83%
    North Seymour Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Land Iguana
    • check Nazca booby
    North Seymour Island

    From the small dock, the trail leads along the coast — past an area where marine iguanas nest — and then loops into the palo santo forest by the nests of frigatebirds and boobies. The frigatebirds rely on the fishing success of the blue-footed boobies for their survival, stealing their catches.  Landing:  Dry.   Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 83%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Floreana Island, Champion islet Floreana Island, Champion islet
    80%
    Floreana Island, Champion islet
    Wildlife Sightings
    Floreana Island, Champion islet

    Located just offshore of Floreana island, Champion is  considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for all snorkeling and scuba fans, and an excellent opportunity for dolphin watching.  It impresses already with its great diversity of iconic species such as penguins and blue footed boobies,  flamingos, pintail ducks and frigates.  It is also one of the two last habitats of the Floreana mockingbird.

    Site Score: 80%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Floreana Island, Devil's Crown Floreana Island, Devil's Crown
    80%
    Floreana Island, Devil's Crown
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Floreana Island, Devil's Crown

    This volcanic crater is a perfect environment for coral, which attracts other marine life; making this one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galápagos. You may see sea lions, sharks, rays, tropical fish, eels and sea turtles. The outside of the crown is a haven for birds including boobies, pelicans, frigatebirds, and red-billed tropicbirds. Type of Landing: None. Difficulty: Moderate/difficult

    Site Score: 80%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Española Island, Gardner Bay Española Island, Gardner Bay
    79%
    Española Island, Gardner Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Mockingbirds
    • check Sea lions
    Española Island, Gardner Bay

    A wonderful white sand beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Famous for the Española mockingbirds, which like to pick at your laces.  Great beach relaxation and swimming.

    Site Score: 79%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Marchena Island, Punta Mejia Marchena Island, Punta Mejia
    78%
    Marchena Island, Punta Mejia
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Marchena Island, Punta Mejia

    This rarely visited site is one of the best in the archipelago to snorkel. The calm and clear deep blue water of the north west coast, and the rugged topography of the location give the sensation of witnessing the beginning of our planet and its underwater world. Apart from great fish diversity, when we snorkel we often see rays, reef sharks and sea turtles.

    Site Score: 78%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Fe Island Santa Fe Island
    78%
    Santa Fe Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Giant opuntia cactus forest
    • check Sea lions
    Santa Fe Island

    A visit begins with a wet landing on a small beach. The beaches here are popular with sea lions, which can often be seen surfing the waves. There are two visitor trails here; one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff, and the other wending through a forest of massive Santa Fe opuntia cactus. Snorkeling in the radiant blue-green waters is excellent, and you may see a Galápagos green turtle gracefully swim by. Landing: Dry. Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 78%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • South Plaza Island South Plaza Island
    78%
    South Plaza Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Hybrid land/marine iguana
    • check Land Iguana
    • check Red-billed tropicbirds
    • check Sea lions
    South Plaza Island

    Various sea birds can be spotted from the top of the sea cliffs.  Land iguanas sit patiently, waiting for cactus flowers to drop.  Marine iguanas and sea lions are also abundant.   South Plaza is also home to the beautiful succulent Sesuvium plant, which changes from bright green in the rainy season to red, orange, and purple during the dry season.  Landing:  Dry.  Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 78%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay
    76%
    Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Nazca booby
    • check Red-footed booby
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay

    After landing on a white-sand, coral beach, you follow a short trail (800m) that meanders through mangroves to the tidal pools where sea lions are often found frolicking, and up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. This is one of the few places in the islands where you are pretty much guaranteed to see red-footed boobies, along with other tidal lagoon birds. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate.

     

    Site Score: 76%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Fernandina Island, Punta Mangle Fernandina Island, Punta Mangle
    75%
    Fernandina Island, Punta Mangle
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Rays
    • check Sharks
    Fernandina Island, Punta Mangle

    Punta Mangle is a superior snorkeling site and a beautiful location for riding in a panga through a grove of mangrove trees. A 500m hike can also be done.   While you are on your ride, you are likely to see plenty of marine iguanas, sea lions, tortoises, pelicans, rays and many birds.

    Site Score: 75%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay
    71%
    Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Rays
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay

    A panga ride site.   A tour around the vary quiet mangrove inlets and adjacent lagoons may reveal Galápagos green turtles, golden cownose rays, spotted eagle rays, and white-tip reef sharks. Galápagos penguins prefer the rocky islets, and marine iguanas enjoy the plentiful algae. Other species seen here include flightless cormorants, pelicans and lava herons. Landing: None (panga ride). Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 71%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santiago Island, Puerto Egas Santiago Island, Puerto Egas
    71%
    Santiago Island, Puerto Egas
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    • check Fur seals
    • check Galapagos hawk
    Santiago Island, Puerto Egas

    This is the jumping off point for two trails. The first leads to fur seal grottos – a stretch of rocky coastline that offers them shade and protection. The second trail leads to the Salt Mine Volcano, a small crater that features a seasonally flooded lagoon, where flamingos and Galapagos hawks can sometimes be spotted. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate.

    Site Score: 71%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Albemarle Point Isabela Island, Albemarle Point account_balance
    70%
    Isabela Island, Albemarle Point
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    • check Galapagos penguin
    Isabela Island, Albemarle Point

    Albemarle Point is a seldom visited site at the northern end of Isabela and if so, often by panga ride. A World War II radar station was built here by the USA. Visitors can walk to the ruins of the radar base. Marine iguanas on the north end of Isabela are some of the largest in the archipelago, and if you spot any penguins, you'll be seeing one of the very few that live in the northern hemisphere.  Landing: N/A Difficulty: Easy

    Site Score: 70%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Isabela Island, Tagus Cove Isabela Island, Tagus Cove account_balance
    70%
    Isabela Island, Tagus Cove
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    Isabela Island, Tagus Cove

    A deep water cove frequented by whales and pirates as attested by old graffiti on shoreline cliffs.  A short steep hike leads to the salt water Darwin Lake, lying within a tuff cone. With nice vistas, you can spot a variety of finch species, hawks, yellow warblers, Galapagos flycatchers. A panga ride along the cliffs may reveal flightless cormorants, Galápagos penguins, and Galápagos sea lions. Landing: Dry, with slippery rocks. Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult.

    Site Score: 70%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Leon Dormido San Cristóbal Island, Leon Dormido
    69%
    San Cristóbal Island, Leon Dormido
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    San Cristóbal Island, Leon Dormido

    Rising several hundred feet above the water, this majestic volcanic monolith is one of the most photographed sites in the islands. Keep an eye on the cliffs for blue-footed and Nazca boobies and frigatebirds. While there are no landing sites, Kicker Rock provides excellent snorkeling opportunities. You may see Galápagos and hammerhead sharks, spotted eagle rays, turtles and tropical fish. Landing: None. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 69%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Bartolomé Island Bartolomé Island
    68%
    Bartolomé Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Rays
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Bartolomé Island

    Bartolomé Island has two visitor sites that are usually combined into one visit.  The first is a swim and snorkel off a nice beach, around the iconic Pinnacle Rock; the underwater world there is really impressive. Snorkelers are in the water with the penguins, marine turtles white-tipped reef sharks, rays and other tropical fish.  The second site is accessible via a long staircase leading up to a spectacular view point from which you can see the manifestations of recent volcanic activity.  Landing: Dry.  Difficulty: Moderate

    Site Score: 68%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Rábida Island Rábida Island
    67%
    Rábida Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Nazca booby
    • check Sea lions
    Rábida Island

    On its red sands, spot marine iguanas and a noisy colony of sea lions. Brown pelicans make homes by the beach in saltbushes. Behind the beach is a lagoon where wading birds and white-cheeked pintail ducks feed, while blue-footed and nazca boobies linger in the cliffs.  Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate.

     

    Site Score: 67%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay
    67%
    Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay

    This beautiful and very long beach is reached via a 1.6km (1 mile) walk from town.  The waves can be big - swimmers use caution.  At the very end lies a secluded bay with very calm (though coffee coloured) water where shade under mangrove trees can be found.   marine iguanas, flamingos (in the salt lagoon behind the mangroves) and white-tipped reef sharks.  Landing: None. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 67%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Sombero Chino Island Sombero Chino Island
    67%
    Sombero Chino Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Galapagos hawk
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Sea lions
    Sombero Chino Island

    The landing site is at a small crescent-shaped white-sand beach. A trail runs from the landing site — where you may see penguins, sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs — to the rocky shore of the western part of the island. Here, you’ll enter a primeval world of volcanic rubble, sharp outcroppings, and lava formations. A visit usually includes a snorkel/swim.  Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 67%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Concha de Perla Isabela Island, Concha de Perla
    66%
    Isabela Island, Concha de Perla
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Isabela Island, Concha de Perla

    A quiet lagoon formed by lava flows, Concha de Perla is a great place to snorkel from the town of Villamil.  The chances of seeing marine iguanas, rays, sea turtles and sharks are pretty good.   

    Site Score: 66%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Villamil Beach Isabela Island, Villamil Beach
    65%
    Isabela Island, Villamil Beach
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Sea lions
    Isabela Island, Villamil Beach

    The remote town of Villamil is located on a beautiful series of white sand beaches.  Modest waves come rolling in, shade can be found below mangroves on the eastern edge.   Jump in for a swim, make sand castles, and if your thirsty of hungry, you can grab a bite or have a drink just steps away.    

    Site Score: 65%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Punta Pitt San Cristóbal Island, Punta Pitt
    65%
    San Cristóbal Island, Punta Pitt
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Nazca booby
    • check Red-footed booby
    • check Sea lions
    San Cristóbal Island, Punta Pitt

    Disembarking on Punta Pitt, the easternmost point in the Galápagos, you’ll arrive on a mangrove-lined beach. After being greeted by a sea lion colony, you’ll discover the only place in Galápagos where all three types of boobies nest, alongside both types of frigatebirds. A steep, 2.5-mile trail takes visitors up a cliff and through a ravine where abundant birdlife can be found. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult.

    Site Score: 65%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Cruz Island, El Chato Santa Cruz Island, El Chato
    65%
    Santa Cruz Island, El Chato
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Giant tortoise in the wild
    • check Scalesia forest
    • check Vermillion flycatcher
    Santa Cruz Island, El Chato

    El Chato is known as a roaming grounds for the Galapagos Giant tortoises, which cross the reserve on their permanent migrations from the coast to the highlands, making it one of the easiest laces where is possible to see these enigmatic animals in their natural habitat. The reserve has thousands of square meters of high pastures and Scalesia forests, an endemic and beautiful plant of the Galapagos.  Landing:  None.  Difficulty: Easy

    Site Score: 65%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Isabela Island, Tintorera Isabela Island, Tintorera
    64%
    Isabela Island, Tintorera
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Galapagos penguin
    • check Rays
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sharks
    Isabela Island, Tintorera

    This is a group of small islets just a few hundred metres off the coast of Villamil that are only accessible by boat. You may spot sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, and other species in the tranquil waters of the bay.  A famous shark viewing lagoon is usually on the agenda at low tide.  You may be offered to go snorkeling.  Landing: Dry. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate.

    Site Score: 64%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Lobos Island San Cristóbal Island, Lobos Island
    64%
    San Cristóbal Island, Lobos Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Sea lions
    San Cristóbal Island, Lobos Island

    A narrow arm of seawater separates the basaltic rock outcropping of Isla Lobos from San Cristóbal. Rollicking sea lions and blue-footed boobies share the white sand beach. There are short hikes on the island and it is a great place to snorkel. Landing: Dry or wet. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

    Site Score: 64%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Brujo San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Brujo
    63%
    San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Brujo
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Brujo

    The beautiful white sand beach, clear waters, abundant wildlife and Kicker Rock on the horizon make this a pleasant landing spot. Frolicking sea lions may greet you as you come ashore and you may see turtles, rays, anemones, and sponge coral if you opt to snorkel or swim. Keep an eye out for shore birds, gulls, pelicans, boobies, finches and mockingbirds.  Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 63%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove
    63%
    Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sharks
    Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove

    The cove is located on the north coast of the island and is only accessible by boat. A quiet boat ride through the mangroves may reveal lava herons, sea turtles, spotted rays, and a variety of shark species, including black and white tipped reef sharks and Galapagos sharks. Landing: None. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 63%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos - Highlands Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos - Highlands
    62%
    Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos - Highlands
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Scalesia forest
    • check Vermillion flycatcher
    Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos - Highlands

    Los Gemelos (The Twins) are a pair of large pit craters on the road from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. They were created when the surface material covering empty magma chambers collapsed. You can walk along the rim of the craters and enjoy breathtaking views. The trail around the larger crater passes through a Scalesia forest and is good place to see a variety of bird species. Landing: None. Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 62%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove
    62%
    Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Sea lions
    Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove

    In the 1600s and 1700s, Buccaneer Cove was a haven for pirates, who would anchor in the protected bay to stock up on tortoises and firewood and to repair their ships. This is often a cruise-by point, due to the sometimes wet and unsafe landing conditions. But keep an eye on the cliffs above for sea birds. The cove is home to sea lions and can be a good place to snorkel. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 62%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Daphne Major circumnavigation Daphne Major circumnavigation account_balance
    61%
    Daphne Major circumnavigation
    Wildlife Sightings
    Daphne Major circumnavigation

    Daphne Major is a volcanic island just north of Santa Cruz island and just west of the Baltra Airport.  Very difficuilt to access, this is where Peter and Rosemary Grant, over several decades of reasearch, observed natural selection in action.  See the book "Beak of the Finch" for the fascinating story.  The island consists of a tuff, devoid of trees, whose rim rises 120 m (394 ft) above the sea.

    Site Score: 61%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Floreana Island, La Loberia Floreana Island, La Loberia
    61%
    Floreana Island, La Loberia
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    Floreana Island, La Loberia

    This nice beach hosts a colony of sea lions and in the water.  Marine iguanas are also seen along the shores and sea turtles are commonly found  in the rocky reefs of the Bay. The visitors site of Lobería has a path 900 m long that takes you through areas of the National Park. This area is used by locals for recreation. Part of the trail is made up of rocks and other parts, sand.

    Site Score: 61%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Wetlands Isabela Island, Wetlands
    61%
    Isabela Island, Wetlands
    Wildlife Sightings
    Isabela Island, Wetlands

    Located just outside of Villamil, the Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps, sometimes using elevated boardwalks.  Landing: N/A.  Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 61%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Colorado San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Colorado
    61%
    San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Colorado
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Giant tortoise in the wild
    San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Colorado

    Also known as the Galapaguera, the hike from the beach is long, about 5 Km (3 miles) one-way and may be hot.  It is important to note that the walk takes a minimum 3 1/2 hours roundtrip.  A great site for those wanting to stretch their legs.  Do bring water.  The hike takes you to an area renown for the numerous giant tortoises easily spotted in the wild.  There are goats in the interior and it is common to find their droppings along the way.   Landing:  Wet   Difficulty:  Difficult

    Site Score: 61%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Galapaguera San Cristóbal Island, Galapaguera
    61%
    San Cristóbal Island, Galapaguera
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Giant tortoise in the wild
    San Cristóbal Island, Galapaguera

    Also known as the Cerro Colorado, the hike from the beach is long, about 5 Km (3 miles) one-way and may be hot.  It is important to note that the walk takes a minimum 3 1/2 hours roundtrip.  A great site for those wanting to stretch their legs.  Do bring water.  The hike takes you to an area renown for the numerous giant tortoises easily spotted in the wild.  There are goats in the interior and it is common to find their droppings along the way.   Landing:  Wet   Difficulty:  Difficult

    Site Score: 61%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
  • Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Champion Islet Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Champion Islet
    60%
    Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Champion Islet
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    • check Rays
    Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Champion Islet

    Between two tuff cones, the Punta Cormorant landing is on a beach with green, olivine sand. Trails allow you to explore a brackish lagoon where greater flamingoes wade through the water, sifting shrimp with their curved bills. Stingrays can be seen in the shallows. You may also see pintail ducks, stilts, large-billed flycatchers, and several species of finches. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 60%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Devil`s Crown Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Devil`s Crown
    60%
    Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Devil`s Crown
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    • check Rays
    Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant - Devil`s Crown

    Between two tuff cones, the Punta Cormorant landing is on a beach with green, olivine sand. Trails allow you to explore a brackish lagoon where greater flamingoes wade through the water, sifting shrimp with their curved bills. Stingrays can be seen in the shallows. You may also see pintail ducks, stilts, large-billed flycatchers, and several species of finches. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 60%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Punta Moreno Isabela Island, Punta Moreno
    60%
    Isabela Island, Punta Moreno
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    Isabela Island, Punta Moreno

    Step onto the edge of a vast lava field, stretching out to Cero Azul volcano in the distance.  The lava is dotted by numerous green lagoons, where flamingoes, paint-bill crakes, white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules can be seen. This young lava flow is in the process of being colonized by several species of interesting pioneer plants. Landing: Dry. Difficulty: Moderate.

    Site Score: 60%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Tijeretas San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Tijeretas
    60%
    San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Tijeretas
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    San Cristóbal Island, Cerro Tijeretas

    Cerro Tijeretas (named after the 2 species of frigatebirds found here) is a lookout point accessible via a moderate walk from the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre.  From the top, you'll have a commanding view of Wreck Bay to the South, and Leon Dormido rock to the West.

    Site Score: 60%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Isabela Island, Urbina Bay Isabela Island, Urbina Bay
    58%
    Isabela Island, Urbina Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flightless cormorant
    • check Giant tortoise in the wild
    • check Land Iguana
    Isabela Island, Urbina Bay

    A trail leads away from a pleasant beach and into the arid zone of the island.  Surprisingly, this flat, scrubby area contains old corals on land - the result of a major uplift in 1954.  You might encounter land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises. Closer to the water you may see flightless cormorants.  Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy/Moderate.

    Site Score: 58%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay
    58%
    Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Galapagos penguin
    Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay

    While it doesn’t boast much wildlife, Sullivan Bay provides visitors with an opportunity to walk across a recent lava flow and examine its otherworldly beauty. Don’t worry; the lava isn’t hot, as it was formed in the late 19th century. The trail here crosses pahoehoe lava, dotted with pyroclastic cones. Inland, striking red and yellow tuft cones rise above the flow.  Landing: Dry. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 58%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Tortoise breeding centre San Cristóbal Island, Tortoise breeding centre account_balance
    57%
    San Cristóbal Island, Tortoise breeding centre
    Wildlife Sightings
    San Cristóbal Island, Tortoise breeding centre

    Established by the National Park in 2003, and located next to the main town, the breeding centre was created in large part to inform residents and visitors about the history of tortoise conservation in Galapagos.   Visitors can both observe giant tortoises living in a semi-natural habitat, but also learn about their origin, evolution, and threats by introduced animals.   Landing:  N/A.  Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 57%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach
    57%
    Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    • check Sea turtles
    Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach

    The name originates from the end of WWII when the American army abandoned their barges, of which two floated up onshore. The beach is a good place to spot some of the characteristic Galapagos species such as flamingos, sally lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas as well as migratory and aquatic birds. It is also one of the main nesting sites for sea turtles on Santa Cruz Island.   Landing:  Wet.  Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 57%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Mosquera Island Mosquera Island
    56%
    Mosquera Island
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Sea lions
    Mosquera Island

    Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this sand covered reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) has one of the largest populations of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds and the curious sally lightfoot crabs. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas (Orcinus orca) feeding on sea lions.   Landing:  Wet.  Difficulty:  Easy

     

    Site Score: 56%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Cruz Island, Punta Carrión Santa Cruz Island, Punta Carrión
    56%
    Santa Cruz Island, Punta Carrión
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sharks
    Santa Cruz Island, Punta Carrión

    This is a great spot to snorkel and swim among rays, sharks and hundreds of colorful tropical fish.  No land excursion.   Landing:  N/A   Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 56%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Isabela Island, Sierra Negra Isabela Island, Sierra Negra
    55%
    Isabela Island, Sierra Negra
    Wildlife Sightings
    Isabela Island, Sierra Negra

    Sierra Negra’s caldera is the second largest in the world.  A 45-minute drive from Villamil, followed by a 30 minute walk or horseback ride will take you to the rim. On the rim of the volcano, you can follow the the trail for another hour.  It divides into two: to the west, it heads to an old sulfur mine; toward the east, the trail leads to Chico Volcano.  Great vistas (on a clear day).  Landing: None. Difficulty: Difficult.

    Site Score: 55%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Marchena Island, Playa Negra Marchena Island, Playa Negra
    54%
    Marchena Island, Playa Negra
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea lions
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Marchena Island, Playa Negra

    Very few ships visit this site - the beach is made of eroded basaltic sand, derived from the Galapagos basaltic shield of volcanoes.  You might spot bottle-nosed dolphins playfully splashing about and marine iguanas diving for algae growing on the lava beds below the serene, calm, blue waters.  A good snorkeling site.  Landing:  N/A  Difficulty:  Easy.

    Site Score: 54%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragon Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragon
    54%
    Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragon
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    • check Land Iguana
    • check Mockingbirds
    • check Rays
    • check Sharks
    Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragon

    The 3km/2mile trail leads through dry-zone vegetation to a small hill where the land iguanas thrive. The area is home to Galapagos mockingbirds, Darwin´s finches, varieties of the endemic Opuntia and candelabra cactus, and Galapagos cotton. Green turtles, sharks, and rays may be spotted on the panga ride, while black-necked stilts, white cheeked pintails, and migratory shorebirds are often seen.   Difficulty:  Easy/moderate.  Landing:  Dry

    Site Score: 54%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Santa Cruz Island, Darwin Station - Tortoise Centre Santa Cruz Island, Darwin Station - Tortoise Centre account_balance
    53%
    Santa Cruz Island, Darwin Station - Tortoise Centre
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Mockingbirds
    Santa Cruz Island, Darwin Station - Tortoise Centre

    The Station is about a ten-minute walk from the center of Puerto Ayora.  It has its own staff scientists but also hosts visiting scientists from around the world.  The archipelago's first tortoise breeding centre is next door, along with land iguana pens.   An open air rest area serves cold drinks and snacks.  Visit the station's new "mini-museum"  and buy a t-shirt to support the station's work.   Landing: No Landing. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 53%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Floreana Island, Baroness' lookout Floreana Island, Baroness' lookout account_balance
    51%
    Floreana Island, Baroness' lookout
    Wildlife Sightings
    Floreana Island, Baroness' lookout

    This is a basaltic tuff formation located between Cormorant Point and Post Office Bay, with impressive panoramic views. Named after Eloise Wagner-Bosquet, an Austrian Baroness who arrived to Floreana in the mid 30s and mysteriously disappeared with one of her three lovers, it’s a great place to observe the Palo Santo and Mangrove forests, as well as the coastline from the Enderby Island to Post Office Bay.  Landing: Wet  Difficulty: Easy

    Site Score: 51%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
  • Isabela Island, Villamil Tortoise Centre Isabela Island, Villamil Tortoise Centre account_balance
    50%
    Isabela Island, Villamil Tortoise Centre
    Wildlife Sightings
    Isabela Island, Villamil Tortoise Centre

    There is a 1.6km (1 mile) interpretive trail that leads from town, goes past the lagoons, and ends at the Tortoise Center.  This well laid-out breeding centre, with plenty of shade, houses tortoises from the populations of southern Isabela.  Landing:  N/A.  Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 50%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach
    49%
    Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach
    Wildlife Sightings
    Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach

    This beach is fringed by beautiful palo santo forest and is a sea turtle nesting site. It is a good place to see marine iguanas and colorful Sally Lightfoot crabs and it is an excellent place to snorkel and see octopi, moray eels, and sharks. Take a loop trail inland to a seasonal lagoon where flamingos are sometimes spotted. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 49%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Bainbridge Rocks Bainbridge Rocks
    47%
    Bainbridge Rocks
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Flamingo
    Bainbridge Rocks

    The Bainbridge Rocks are a remote chain of small rocky islets off the southeastern coast of Santiago Island, formed by the fusion of seven volcanic cones reaching out from the ocean floor. One of these islets is a volcanic crater made up of compacted volcanic ash, which as formed a breath-taking turquoise salt-water lake due to the permeation of seawater through the walls of the eroded crater, which attracts flamingos by the flocks during their annual migration.  Difficulty:  Easy   Landing:  N/A

    Site Score: 47%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • San Cristóbal Island, El Junco San Cristóbal Island, El Junco
    47%
    San Cristóbal Island, El Junco
    Wildlife Sightings
    San Cristóbal Island, El Junco

    From town, you may take a taxi or a bus to the highlands to see the largest freshwater lake in the Galápagos, El Junco. Located about 125 metres (400 feet) above sea level, the lake is surrounded by ferns and sedges and hosts a variety of birdlife including white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules. The name El Junco comes from the junco plant, which is common in the area. Landing: None. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 47%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santa Cruz Island, El Eden Islet Santa Cruz Island, El Eden Islet
    44%
    Santa Cruz Island, El Eden Islet
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Rays
    • check Sea turtles
    • check Sharks
    Santa Cruz Island, El Eden Islet

    A highly eroded volcanic tuff cone just off the coast of Santa Cruz island - typically visited via panga ride.  It is common to spot blue footed boobies diving for prey, and sea turtles, rays and sharks in the waters below, near red-mangrove shores.   Landing:  Panga ride.   Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 44%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Floreana Island, Asilo de Paz Floreana Island, Asilo de Paz account_balance
    37%
    Floreana Island, Asilo de Paz
    Wildlife Sightings
    Floreana Island, Asilo de Paz

    Historically significant, this site is 5 mi from town.  Along the trail to the top of a 1476 ft tall hill, you will pass through a Scalesia tree forest and see a corral where Galapagos tortoises from San Cristóbal Island are kept (the native Floreana tortoises are extinct).  Visitors will discover the caves where some of the first human settlers on Floreana Island stayed and also encounter a fresh water spring.  Landing: Dry.  Difficulty: Easy

    Site Score: 37%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Floreana Island, Post Office Bay Floreana Island, Post Office Bay account_balance
    37%
    Floreana Island, Post Office Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    Floreana Island, Post Office Bay

    In the eighteenth century, a group of whalers set up a wooden barrel to collect mail at this site, now known as Post Office Bay. A trail behind the barrel leads through palo santo and palo verde trees to a cave, which is actually a lava tube running down to the sea. Landing: Wet. Difficulty: Easy.

    Site Score: 37%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Floreana Island, Black beach Floreana Island, Black beach account_balance
    36%
    Floreana Island, Black beach
    Wildlife Sightings
    Floreana Island, Black beach

    Black Beach is a point of substantial and infamous historical significance. An unofficial visitor site only visited under special arrangement. Visit the Wittmer pension and small settlement of Puerto Velasco lbarra. It's famous resident, Margaret Wittmer, arrived in Floreana in 1932 (dying there in 2000).  Today, the pension is managed by her daughter. Here you can have your post cards stamped with one of four seals, sample the homemade wine.   Floreana was the first island in the Archipelago to be inhabited, since it has one of the very few fresh water sources.

     

    Site Score: 36%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • San Cristóbal Island, Interpretation Centre San Cristóbal Island, Interpretation Centre account_balance
    35%
    San Cristóbal Island, Interpretation Centre
    Wildlife Sightings
    San Cristóbal Island, Interpretation Centre

    The center, which is just outside of the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, was opened in 1998 and features exhibits showcasing the natural and human history of the Galápagos and the ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the islands. Landing: None. Difficulty: Easy

    Site Score: 35%
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Santa Cruz Island, Whale Bay Santa Cruz Island, Whale Bay
    31%
    Santa Cruz Island, Whale Bay
    Wildlife Sightings
    Santa Cruz Island, Whale Bay

    This is a beautiful greenish sand cove. The beach contains a large amount of volcanic olivine crystals, formed when the magma was still underground. A small tortoise population from Pinzon Island lives in the area, probably left by whalers or previous inhabitants. There is the opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds, followed by snorkeling.  Landing:  Wet.  Difficulty:  Easy

    Site Score: 31%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
    beach_access Beach Quality
    pool Snorkel Quality
  • Baltra Island Airport Baltra Island Airport account_balance
    28%
    Baltra Island Airport
    Wildlife Sightings
    • check Land Iguana
    Baltra Island Airport

    The first airport here was built by Americans during the 2nd World War - remnants of that military base can be easily observed.  The latest airport here touts itself as the world’s first “green” airport. It opened in December 2012.  The terminal consists of recycled steel tubes taken from oil drilling operations in the Amazon.  It spreads over 6,000 square meters and required an investment of just over $24 million. The new complex uses clean, renewable technologies such as solar energy, wind farms, and seawater desalination, among other environmental innovations.  It is kept cool(ish) simply by design - no air conditioning is required.

    Site Score: 28%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • Navigation / Whale watching Navigation / Whale watching
    10%
    Navigation / Whale watching
    Wildlife Sightings
    Navigation / Whale watching

    During a long crossing, take advantage of the seascapes and take some time to look for all kinds of marine life - dolphins, whales, leaping rays, and a variety of seabirds.

    Site Score: 10%
    public Iconic Species
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas
  • San Cristóbal Island Airport San Cristóbal Island Airport
    10%
    San Cristóbal Island Airport
    Wildlife Sightings
    San Cristóbal Island Airport

    The only commercial jet airliner airport we know that is located walking distance from town. 

    Site Score: 10%
    pets Biodiversity
    photo Striking vistas

account_balance Is of cultural or historical significance