Pirates, buccaneers, and whalers would use Tangus Cove as an anchoring place. The high ridges are covered with painted names of hundreds of ships that came to the island. This is a practice that is now forbidden. Take a hike on a trail that goes through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. Once the top has been reached, enjoy the incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake.
A wonderful snorkeling site that would be tested out is Punta Vicente Roca. Here you can usually see turtles and various types of fish. A panga ride allows for the opportunity to study some of the Galapagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. In this area you can see Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and penguins.
Puerto Egas (James Bay) is located on the northwest side of Santiago Island and is home to a black sand beach with eroded rock formations surrounding it. The trail crosses the dry interior where you will pass the remnants of a salt mine and tidal pools that are home to an abundant variety of invertebrate organisms including sea urchins, octopus, and starfish. Have the chance to also see marine iguanas, finches, oyster catchers, and possibly the Galapagos Hawk. The Fur Sea Lion Grottos is one of the only places in the islands where the Fur Sea Lion can be viewed and is definitely worth the walk.
Bartolome is a small island with has two visitor sites. Snorkel around Pinnacle Rock at the first where penguins are usually seen. From the highest point on the island, encounter different volcanic formations, including spatter and tuff cones, lava flow, and lava tubes on your way up. At the summit there is a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. There are opportunities to see sea lions, pioneer plants, reef sharks, rays, and colorful reef fish while touring the island.
Darwin Bay is home to a stunning soft, coralline white sandy beach that is perfect for a blissful stroll. A trail from the beach immerses you into lush mangroves where red-footed boobies nest. Enjoy the other local inhabitants that roam this area including sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigates, and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and tortoises are common.
Rather than by a volcano, Santa Fe was formed by uplifting. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, different types of finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. Wander around the island to see salt bushes where Galapagos hawks and Santa Fe land iguanas tend to wander and have a chance to witness friendly and playful sea lions accompany you during your snorkeling activities.
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