What are the top sites you should not miss in the Galapagos Islands?
Galapagos cruises offer one of the best ways to explore these enchanting islands. Navigating overnight, you’ll wake up each morning in a new place waiting to be discovered, covering much more distance than can be achieved on a land-based itinerary. The islands offer loads of remote visitor sites, many of which can only be accessed by Galapagos cruises. Here’s our pick of the best visitor sites to visit in 2018, aboard one of the Galapagos cruises offered by Latin Trails. The sites we’ve selected offer a mix of geological features, beautiful beaches for relaxing, and of course excursions that get you up close to the incredible species of the Galapagos.
1. Gardner Bay (Española Island)
One of the most beautiful beaches in the archipelago, this secluded stretch of pristine white sand is home to the Española mockingbird, and to a colony of friendly sea lions, who frolic in the waves, offering a great photo opportunity. A favorite destination for Galapagos cruises, like many on this list, it’s only accessible by boat.
2. Roca Pináculo (Isla Bartolomé)
Un gran lugar para nadar y practicar esnórquel junto a los pingüinos de Galápagos, quienes atraviesan rápidamente las olas. Caminado, llegas a un corto camino que te lleva a otra playa, hogar de las rayas moteadas y tiburones de punta negra, que son fáciles de ver desde tierra.
3. Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
Once a hideaway for pirates, the cliffs surrounding the bay are painted and carved with graffiti from bygone sailors, the oldest dating from 1836. It’s a strange contrast to the otherwise pristine natural environment, but part of the human history of the Galapagos islands. There’s a lot of bird life along the shores, which can be explored by kayak, or dive in for the underwater delights, including the chance to snorkel with Galapagos penguins.
4. Rábida Island
This is one of the best sites to witness brown pelicans nesting. Behind the beach where you’ll go ashore via a wet landing, there is a saltwater lagoon, home to beautiful flamingos. Further inland you’ll find finches, Galapagos doves and yellow warblers. This remote island is one of the smallest in the archipelago, accessible on Galapagos cruises.
5.Tintoreras (Isabela Island)
A remarkable place, these small islets off the coast of Isabela island create the perfect nursery for young sharks who rest in the rocky cervices. Follow the path along the lava rocks, just above the sharks, which is dotted with young marine iguanas basking in the sun.
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6. Plazas Island
This is a great visitor site for bird-lovers, with dramatic cliff faces offering safe nesting spots for several species. Here you’ll see the red-billed tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls. South Plaza island is also home to the smallest land iguanas in the archipelago.
7. Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
One for the geology lovers! This site offers a unique opportunity to walk across a recent lava field, with its unique formations like tuff cones and miniature spatter cones. Here you’ll learn about the interesting volcanic origins of the Galapagos islands.
8. Tortuga Bay (Santa Cruz Island)
Tortuga Bay has two beaches, popular with visitors staying in nearby Santa Cruz. The trail to the bay takes you through arid landscapes, filled with land birds. After walking through the sun, you’ll be rewarded with your arrival at the beautiful white-sand beach, excellent for swimming and a popular local spot for surfing.
9.Punta Pitt (San Cristobal)
As you land, you’ll be greeted by the stench of sea lions! Home to a bachelor colony, the males come here to rest after mating and fighting. This visitor site is also unique for being the only place in the Galapagos where you can see all three species of boobies together – blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca.
10. Prince Philip steps (Genovesa Island)
Follow the steep stairway carved through the rocks upwards through this bird paradise. On the plateau above, you’ll be surrounded by thousands of seabirds – red-footed and Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds and more. Walking through the Palo Santo forest, keep an eye out for the elusive short-eared owl and enjoy the impressive views of the bay below.
Are you ready to set sail and discover these incredible Galapagos visitor sites? Latin Trails offers three vessels for unforgettable Galapagos cruises – the Galapagos Sea Star Journey, The Seaman Journey. Check out our different Galapagos cruise itineraries for 2018 and 2019.