10 must-see sites in the Galapagos Islands
In Ecuador‘s famous Galapagos Islands, you can experience life in its natural state as you walk among the giant tortoises, sea lions and exotic birds that inhabit this evolutionary paradise. It’s one of the most fascinating and unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have!
Here are 10 places not to be missed on your next trip to the Galapagos.
Garrapatero is located on the southeast coast of Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands. It can be accessed by land and sea. In addition to being used as a place of visit for travellers arriving in the Galapagos, it is also used by the local community as a place for recreational activities. A large number of bird species can be seen here, including Darwin’s finches and flamingos.
FAUSTO LLERENA BREEDING CENTRE
The Fausto Llerena breeding centre was created in 1965, with the aim of carrying out a captive breeding programme. It houses specimens of turtles from the islands of Santa Cruz, Santiago, Española, Pinzón and Pinta. In addition, there is a trail called “La Ruta de la Tortuga” where the emblematic Lonesome George is on display.
Tortuga Bay is a beautiful white sand beach, located on Santa Cruz Island. It is so named because it is a nesting site for sea turtles. There is vegetation in the lower part of the transition zone, the dry zone and the coastal zone. It is an ideal place for surfing and snorkelling.
LAGUNA LAS NINFAS
This lagoon is located in the canton of Santa Cruz and is surrounded by a mangrove forest. The vegetation is typical of the arid zone, as the site is located on a crack in the lava mantle. Its name refers to the fact that naked women used to bathe in this lagoon in the past, which is why the men of the time gave it the name Laguna de las Ninfas (Lagoon of the Nymphs).
SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO
The volcano located in the canton of Isabela is considered the oldest on the island. Its crater, with a diameter of 10 km, is the second largest active crater in the world. During the rainy season, there is a heavy haze on the summit, which reduces the view of the landscape along most of the trail; however, during the dry season, you can enjoy the spectacular scenery. This is one of the best places for geological observations.
The islet of Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil, in the canton of Isabela. It has a small bay with totally calm turquoise waters, where you can see sea lions, sea turtles and marine iguanas. This bay is connected to a crevice of crystal clear shallow waters where you can see blue sharks swimming. Also, the white tip shark (Triaenodon obesus), known as the blue shark, can occasionally be seen resting at the site. Most of the trail is lava, except for two white sand beaches and one black pebble beach.
La Ratonera, located in Santa Cruz, Galapagos, is next to the Charles Darwin Research Station and has a white sand beach. It is the perfect place to watch the sunset over Academy Bay. Despite the rocky outcrops, it is a favourite spot for surfers.
Los Gemelos is a geological formation in the canton of Santa Cruz, formed by a volcanic subsidence when the islands were still active. It is the only place on the island that is surrounded by an andemic forest of “scale wood”. It is home to several species of land birds, including the witch bird.
PLAYA DE LA ESTACIÓN
La Estación beach, located in Santa Cruz, is on the way to the Charles Darwin Research Station. It is a beautiful beach surrounded by a rest area where you can enjoy activities such as snorkelling and swimming, as well as sunbathing and observing the local flora and fauna.
Source: Ecuador Travel
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