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Floreana Island

Floreana Island - Galapagos Travel Guide

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Floreana Island is the smallest of the four inhabited islands in the Galapagos, but also has one of the most fascinating human histories. Regarded as the birthplace of the first “Galapagueño” (the first person actually born in the archipelago), it hosts tales of pirates, whalers, and even a murder mystery. The tiny town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra is the only town on this island and has a meager population of around 100 people. Although there aren’t many lodging options here, Floreana’s visitor sites are definitely a fascinating part of any Galapagos vacation.

10 Best Galapagos Cruises & Tours Visiting Floreana Island for 2023-2024

10 Best Luxury Galapagos Cruises & Tours to Floreana Island for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Luxury Central Galapagos Islands Cruise$44904Sep 24, 2023This luxury Galapagos cruise explores the central and eastern islands of the archipelago on the new Endemic Galapagos catamaran. Hike sea-side …
Luxurious Southern Galapagos Cruise$59496Oct 12, 2023On this 6-day luxury Galapagos cruise aboard one of the best yachts in Galapagos, the Ocean Spray catamaran, you'll see giant Galapagos tortoises, …
Galapagos Explorer + Peru's Land of the Incas$1414016Oct 6, 2023Link your 9-day small ship-based Galápagos adventure aboard the National Geographic Endeavour II to a 7-day land-based exploration of the …
Central Islands Cruise$89908Oct 21, 2023Discover the highlights of San Cristobal, Española, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Santiago, and Genovesa islands on this incredible 8-day adventure aboard …
Private Charter - Beyond Darwin's Footsteps Aboard Grace$1470008Oct 3, 2023Close encounters with nature highlight this 8-day private Galapagos cruise onboard the Grace. The islands are teeming with animals that are eager to …
Beyond Darwin's Footsteps$85008Sep 30, 2023This 8-day adventure aboard Grace offers close encounters with wildlife. The islands are full of creatures that love to interact with visitors. …
Classic Galapagos$794010Oct 6, 2023Spend 10 days exploring the legendary Galápagos Islands aboard a classic, 96-guest expedition ship, the Endeavour II. Actively experience the …
Private Charter - Luxurious Southern Galapagos Cruise Aboard Ocean Spray$887906Oct 12, 2023Board the Ocean Spray, a 16-passenger luxury catamaran, on this 6-day private cruise aboard one of the best yachts in Galapagos. See giant Galapagos …
Private Charter - San Cristobal, Espanola & Floreana Aboard Petrel$547904Sep 29, 2023Drop off a postcard in Post Office Bay as you travel through San Cristobal, Espanola and Floreana with your private group of up to 16 guests aboard …
San Cristobal, Española & Floreana$36694Sep 29, 2023The Petrel stops at Post Office Bay, where you can mail a postcard from San Cristobal to Espanola and Floreana. During this four-day tour, get to …

10 Best Cruise Ships to Floreana Island for 2023-2024

Ship NameMax PassengersFromSummary
M/C Elite16$4490Perhaps the most luxurious small yacht in the Galapagos, the new Galapagos Elite set sail in Summer 2019. It has reinvented luxury, comfort and class …
Alya16$4400Alya catamaran offers luxury cruises to the Galapagos Islands. Accommodating just 16 passengers, the Alya boasts 9 spacious cabins with private …
Santa Cruz II90$8447Combining luxury, amenities, and many social areas, the recently remodeled 90-passenger Santa Cruz II reigns in the Galapagos as one of the most …
Archipel I16$2995The 16-passenger twin-hulled Archipel I catamaran combines comfort and space onboard for the optimal experience on its naturalist and diving cruises …
Ocean Spray16$3669Ocean Spray offers the best performance and comfort for a Galapagos cruise. With an elegant design, the Ocean Spray carries 16 guests on luxurious …
Anahi16$3150Now known as the Journey I, this catamaran travels to the remote islands and features exciting activities. Guests will enjoy ample social areas both …
Grand Majestic16$3045Grand Majestic is the only modern mega-yacht cruising the Galapagos. This elegantly sporty yacht is the fastest in the Islands and offers …
Corals36$2381These twin motor yachts will take you on an authentic Galapagos adventure in comfort and style. Panoramic windows, a sun deck, and a shadow deck …
Galapagos Legend100$2455With four decks, this cruise ship is one of the biggest boats in the Galapagos, offering plenty of amenities and features onboard, but still managing …
M/C Galapagos Endemic16$4490Cruise the Galapagos Islands aboard the M/C Endemic, a glamorous catamaran that provides guests the style and comfort they need to have an adventure …

Floreana Island Travel Guide

One of only four inhabited islands in the Galapagos, Floreana is the least populated. Most of the residents live in the town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra and nearly all of the island is protected by the Galapagos National Park.

The most famous spot on the island is the "Post Office", existing in a similar form as it has since pirates corresponded here. The descendents of some of the first, and most famous, residents of Floreana, the Wittmers, still reside here today.

There's one hotel on Floreana Island, the Floreana  Lava Lodge which can only be visited as part of a three day itinerary, as the National Park doesn't allow multi-day cruises to stop and leave people on the island. 

The other highlights of any trip to Floreana are the official National Park Visitor Spots below.

Floreana Island Facts and Highlights

  • Floreana Island is known for its mysterious past. Learn about the island's early settlers and the fascinating stories of its colorful characters, including pirates, whalers, and the infamous Baroness Eloisa von Wagner.
  • Floreana Island is home to a variety of endemic species, including the Galapagos mockingbird, lava lizards, and the Floreana giant tortoise. Observe these fascinating creatures up close and learn about their adaptations to life on the island.
  • Post Office Bay is the most emblematic visitor site on Floreana Island and a must-visit destination. It is home to a unique tradition where visitors leave postcards for others to pick up and hand-deliver to their intended recipients. 
  • Devil's Crown is a unique rock formation off the coast of Floreana Island, popular for snorkeling and diving. Its underwater cliffs and caves provide a habitat for a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and rays.
  • Floreana Island is home to several stunning black sand beaches. The island's volcanic past creates a dramatic and striking landscape.
  • Floreana Island is one of the few inhabited islands in the archipelago. Its small population of residents provides visitors with an opportunity to experience the local way of life. 

Floreana Island Visitor Spots - Hiking & Snorkeling

Baroness Viewing Point – This scenic viewpoint is currently a popular lookout, but hosts an eerie tale of lovers who mysteriously vanished. Murder and mystery surround Baroness Eloise von Wagner, for whom this viewpoint is named. In the early 20th century, she and her two lovers disappeared, and ever since mystery has shrouded this otherwise gorgeous lookout. A nearby cave served as the home of the Wittmer family – Were they merely neighbors to the Baroness and her love triangle? Or were their intentions a bit more murderous? No one knows for sure.

Post Office Bay – Long before the Internet or even formal mail systems, the Galapagos Islands housed an informal post office of its own ­­–  what started off as a single wooden barrel where sailors left their addressed letters home in the hopes that a future sea-farer would find it and return it to its intended has slightly evolved into an amalgamation of something resembling mailboxes. Although this system has long since been replaced by more effective means of communication, the barrel still stands where it was originally placed and now eager travelers enjoy placing stamped and addressed post cards in it to see how long it will take before another passerby picks it up and delivers it home.

Asilo de la Paz – Before the Galapagos were a major tourist destination, they were a sanctuary for all manner of sailors navigating the Pacific. After spending months at sea, they would use the Islands to stock up on water and food. Asilo de la Paz is the only spot on Floreana that has a freshwater spring, which provides drinking water to the whole island. In the days of buccaneers and pioneers, a nearby cave provided sanctuary while they enjoyed the crisp water issuing from the spring.

Cormorant Point ­– This site features two distinct beaches. The first beach is peculiar for its green color, the result of a heavy concentration of volcanic olivine crystals in the sand. This contrasts with the other beach, which is composed of white coral. An easy hike inland takes one to saltwater lagoons, where flamingos, stilts, and pintails can be spotted. If you choose to snorkel, the soft, fine sand of the beach provides the ideal habitat for stingrays.

Devil’s Crown – Considered by many to be the best snorkeling site in the Galapagos, this ring of rocks from a partially submerged volcanic cone, has healthy coral and hosts a wealth of sharks, rays, and tropical fish in a vibrant underwater display of biodiversity. Its name refers to the jagged tip of an eroded volcanic caldera that peeks just barely out of the water, like a crown. Once you strap on your snorkel and fins and begin exploring the impressive underwater rock formations you will see why so many people think this offers the best Galapagos snorkeling.  

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