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Information on the 15 Most Important Islands in Galapagos

The Top Galapagos Islands Visitor Spots and Islands

Below we review the top-15 islands to visit in the Galapagos and the top things to do and places to see on each of those islands.

There are a litle over 70 terrestrial visitor spots on the Galapagos Islands, and normally two (and maximum three) visitor spots can be visited per day during a cruise. So, choose your cruise itinerary wisely to make sure you get as many of your personal “must see” visitor spots as possible during your cruise.

Also, different months of the year have different wildlife activity on each Island, (want to see the blue footed boobies’ mating dance?). Rake sure to revise this page that details the climate and best times to go for major wildlife events for each month of the year.

Bartolome Island is located just off of the larger Santiago Island, and is one of the most graphic examples of the volcanic nature of the Galapagos. Most boats stop at the beach of Bartolome where there is excellent snorkeling opportunities, including, if your lucky, a chance to swim with Penguins! There is also a spectacular hike that climbs to the summit of the island, which reveals first a variety of colorful volcanic formations. The view from the top is perhaps the most photographed vista in all of the Galapagos, don’t forget your camera.

Española Island is located at the southeast end of the archipelago and is well known for nesting albatrosses and other rare bird species. Punta Suarez visitor spot is a rocky point with one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in Galapagos. Most notable are the Galapagos Albatross, especially during March, April and May when nesting is at its height. At the far end of the island from where your hike starts, high cliffs rise p from the sea, with spectacular views of soaring birds and th famous blowhole that sprays wate up to 75 feet (25 meters) into the air. The second point of interest on Espanola is Gardner Bay, which is located at the eastern end of the Island and provides an excellent beach for swimming with sea lions.

Santa Cruz Island Is home to the Galapagos’ largest town, Puerto Ayora in addition to The Charles Darwin Research Station (the most visited of all visitor spots), and the National Park headquarters. Tortuga bay is an expansive white sand beach a few miles hike from town and is a popular half-day excursion.

Turtle Cove, an impressive Galapagos marine site, consists of a deep maze of a tranquil seawater inlet. Its waters are still, often murky, and are the resting (and sometimes mating) place for marine turtles, rays, and small sharks. Cerro Dragon, a newly opened visitor site, is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island, and provides access to a hypersaline lagoon, which is saltier than the ocean.