Galapagos Island descriptions & details   Leave a comment

Baltra | Bartolome | Espanola | Fernandina | Floreana | Genovesa | Isabela | North Seymour
Rabida | San Cristobal | Santa Cruz | Santa Fe | Santiago | Sombrero Chino | South Plazas

BALTRA: Baltra is not officially part of the Galapagos National Park, but is home to one of the two main airports in the archipelago although it is frequently used as the starting and/or ending point of most cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Baltra’s airport was originally built by the USA during World World II as an air base.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 27 km2

Alternate name(s): South Seymour, “The Rock”,
Base Beta


Visitation sites: AIRPORT only
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Land iguanas
  • Lava lizards
FLORA
  • Lava cacti
  • Palo Santo trees

BARTOLOME: An impressive little island located to the east of Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island) and characterized by volcanic (almost lunar) landscape The beach trail connects the northern and southern beaches (yellowish brown sand made up of crushed volcanic material). The summit trail takes visitors to the top of the central volcano for a spectacular view of the surrounding area. Pinnacle Rock (on the northern beach) stands out like a finger pointing to the sky.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 1.2 km2




Alternate name(s): Bartholomew


Visitation sites: Pinnacle Rock
Activities:
FAUNA
  • Galapagos penguins
  • Sea turtles
  • Sharks (whitetip & blacktip)
  • Sting rays
  • Spotted Eagle rays
  • Black turtles (Nov/Dec)
  • Herons
FLORA
  • Mangroves
  • Tiquilia
  • Lava cacti

ESPANOLA: One of the oldest islands in the archipelago, this island is almost completely flat. The west point of Española is one of the most spectacular sites in Galapagos, due to its diverse and interesting wildlife. The Waved Albatross is endemic not only to Galapagos but also to this island. They are found at Punta Suarez only during the dry season (from mid-April through to mid-December).

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 60 km2

Alternate name(s): Hood


Visitation sites: Gardner Bay
Punta Suarez

Activities:

FAUNA
  • Waved Albatross
  • Blue-footed & Nazca Boobies
  • Lava & night herons
  • Swallowtailed gulls
  • Oystercatchers
  • Galapagos doves
  • Ground, Wabler & Cactus finches
  • Española mockingbird
  • Galapagos hawks
  • Marine iguanas
  • Lava lizards
  • Galapagos snakes
  • Sea lions
FLORA
  • Spiny shrubs
  • Saltbushes

FERNANDINA: One of the youngest islands in the archipelago, Fernandina has one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The caldera is 6 kilometers wide and about 900 meters deep.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 642 km2



Alternate name(s): Narborough


Visitation sites: Punta Espinoza
Activities:
FAUNA
  • Marine iguanas
  • Sally Lightfoot crabs
  • Galapagos penguins
  • Flightless cormorants
  • Sea lions
FLORA
  • Lava cacti

Floreana island details (updating) ….


GENOVESA: Located in the northeast of the archipelago, this island is shaped like a horseshoe. Once a large volcano, the southern edge collapsed to form Darwin Bay. Genovesa lacks reptiles, except for marine iguanas. However, this is a paradise for birds.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 14 km2




Alternate name(s): Tower


Visitation sites: Darwin Bay
Prince Phillip’s Steps
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Marine igaunas
  • Red-footed Boobies
  • Great Frigatebirds
  • Nazca Boobies
  • Swallowtail & lava gulls
  • Red-billed tropicbirds
  • Pintail ducks
  • Yellow crowned & lava herons
  • Whimbrels
  • Storm pertrels
  • Short-eared owls
  • Fur seals

FLORA
  • Opuntia cacti
  • Palo Santo trees

ISABELA: The largest of the islands in the archipelago with 60% of the land surface of Galapagos. A series of six volcanoes united form the base of Isabela. Its capital is Puerto Villamil.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 4588 km2




Alternate name(s): Albemarle


Visitation sites: Elizabeth Bay
Puerto Villamil
Sierra Negra Volcano
Tagus Cove
Urbina Bay
Punta Moreno
Punta Vicente Roca
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Giant tortoises
  • Red-footed Boobies
  • Marine & land iguanas
  • Flightless cormorants
  • Galapagos penguins
  • Sea lions
  • Blue-footed Boobies
  • Rays (Golden, Spotted)
  • White-tipped sharks
  • Sea Turtles
  • Flamingos
  • Galapagos Hawks
  • Darwin finches
  • Pelicans
  • Noddy terns
  • Common egrets
  • Blue herons

FLORA
  • Opuntia cacti
  • Palo Santo trees
  • Spiny shrubs

NORTH SEYMOUR: This flat and low-lying island is located north of Baltra. It is one of the best places to see the blue-footed boobie.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 1.9 km2



Alternate name(s): Seymour Norte (Spanish)


Visitation sites:
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Blue-footed Boobies
  • Sea lions
  • Magnificent frigatebirds
  • Land iguanas
  • Swallow-tailed gulls
  • Nazca boobies
  • Red-billed tropicbirds
FLORA
  • Opuntia cacti
  • Palo Santo trees
  • Spiny shrubs

RABIDA: A small island, located to the south of Santiago, covered by dry and coastal vegetation. This island contains a large variety of lava types (mainly red in colour) and has one central volcano of 367 m2. A salt water lagoon provides an attraction for flamingos.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 5 km2


Alternate name(s): Jervis


Visitation sites: Beach and lagoon
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Bahama pintail ducks
  • Common stilts
  • Blue-footed & Nazca Boobies
  • Sea lions
  • Fur seals
  • Flamingos
FLORA
  • Palo Santo trees
  • Opuntias
  • Spiny shrubs

SAN CRISTOBAL: The most easterly of the islands in the archipelago, is home to the capital of Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (location of one of the two main airports in Galapagos). The northern part of the island is characterized by a flat, dry and harsh environment. The southern area is lush and abundant in water (including fresh water lakes).

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 558 km2

Alternate name(s): Chatam


Visitation sites: Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido)
Interpretation Center
Lobos Island
(Isla Lobos)
Punta Pitt
El Junco Lagoon
(Laguna El Junco)
Frigatebird Hill
(Cerro Las Tijeretas)
Galapaguera
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Frigatebirds
  • Bahama pintail ducks
  • Whimbrels
  • Blue-footed, Nazca & Red-footed Boobies
  • Tropicbirds
  • Sea Lions
  • Giant tortoises (Galapaguera)
FLORA
  • Palo Santo trees
  • Saltbushes
  • Spiny shrubs

SANTA CRUZ: The second largest island after Isabela, Santa Cruz has the largest human population and has been colonilzed since 1920. Puerto Ayora is the most important harbour in the archipelago. This is the only island with 6 different vegetation zones.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 986 km2



Alternate name(s): Indefatigable


Visitation sites: Puerto Ayora
Charles Darwin Research Station
Tortuga Bay
Bachas Beach
Cerro Dragon
Black Turtle Cove
Highlands
(Los Gemelos / El Chato / Lava Tunnels)
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Giant tortoises
  • Galapagos sharks
  • Marine turtles
  • Land & marine iguanas
  • Flamingos
  • Vermilion flycatchers
  • Dark-rumped & Hawiian petrels
  • Sea lions
  • Pelicans
  • Short-eared owls
  • Galapagos dove
  • Darwin finches

FLORA
  • Opuntia cacti
  • Palo Santo trees
  • Miconia trees
  • Redd, black & white mangroves
  • Spiny shrubs

SANTA FE: This island is a result of an uplifting that rose the sea floor 259 meters above the sea level. This island is characterized by giant Opuntia cactus and a bay with crystalline water.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 24 km2


Alternate name(s): Barrington


Visitation sites: Two different trails.
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Land iguana
  • Sea turtles
  • Galapagos hawks
  • Sea lions
  • White-tipped reef sharks
  • Spotted Eagle, Round & Sting rays

FLORA
  • Opuntia cacti

SANTIAGO: This is the fourth largest island, with a wide variety of terraine: volcanoes, temporary lakes, lavaflows, arid coastlines, green mountains, red, brown, yellow and black lava. At Puerto Egas (west) the ocean has formed natural swimming pools, while at Sullivan Bay (east) one can see immense Pahoehoe lava flows and fields.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 585 km2


Alternate name(s): James, San Salvador


Visitation sites: Espumilla Beach
James Bay
Bucaneer Cove
Puerto Egas
Sullivan Bay
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Fur seals
  • Lava herons
  • Oystercatchers
  • Whimbrels
  • Galapagos doves
  • Galapagos hawks
FLORA
  • Scalesia forest
  • Mangroves

SOMBRERO CHINO: Separated from the east coast of Santiago Island by a beautiful turquoise-blue lagoon, this island is made of a craters and pahoehoe lava flows. An excellent snorkeling site.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 2 km2


Alternate name(s): Chinese Hat


Visitation sites: Trail
Activities:

FAUNA
  • Sea lions
  • Galapagos penguins
  • Marine iguanas
  • Galapagos hawks
FLORA
  • Sesuvium plants
  • Pioneer plants

(SOUTH) PLAZAS: Located east of Santa Cruz island, this island was formed by lava blocks that were pushed up from the sea bed. A large colony of sea lions dominate the island.

FACTS & DETAILS
Area: 0.13 km2


Alternate name(s): Plazas


Visitation sites: Trail
Activities:

FAUNA

  • Sea lions
  • Land iguanas
  • Swallowtailed gulls
  • Tropicbirds
  • Frigates
  • Blue-footed & Nazca Boobies
  • Sea turtles
  • Rays
  • Yellow-tailed mullet
  • Sharks

FLORA
  • Cactus forest
  • Opuntia cactus

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: