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Nature > Galapagos Islands

| Protected Areas | Adventure Tourism | Beaches |

Protected Areas

The Galapagos Islands are home to many islands on which tourists can appreciate and explore the pristine state of the complex, constantly evolving ecosystem that has made the Galapagos so famous. On the island of Floreana, for example, you can visit Post Office Bay, The Black Beach, Flamingos Lagoon, Cormorant Point, or The Pirates’Caves. There are also areas to scuba dive, such as La Corona del Diablo. On Genovesa, the frigate birds, furry seals, marine iguanas, tropical birds, red-footed boobies, and masked boobies all stand out. On Fernandina, there are sea lions, iguanas, pelicans, penguins, and cormorants. On Española, you can appreciate the dance of the Blue-footed Booby or the courting of the Albatross.

Other points of interest in the Galapagos Islands are El Géiser, El Soplador, and Cucubes, all of which are home to a variety of exotic and rare birdlife. Santiago is well known for having some of the best and most accessible scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands and also because it offers the chance to walk between lava flow formations all the way to the volcanic conic peak of Bartolomé, where furry seals and sea lions dwell. On North Seymour, there are colonies of frigate birds, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies. The Plazas Islands are an important habitat of sea lions, iguanas, cactus, and seagulls. Santa Fe is a bay surrounded by forests of giant cactus, sea lions, sparrow hawks, and iguanas. Isabela is home to a nursery of turtles and constant volcanic activity. In 1998, after twenty years of activity, Volcano Cerro Azul suddenly erupted.

The Galapagos Islands are home to a Marine Reserve which has been declared a Natural Heritage Site. There are 62 destinations to visit in the islands.

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Sports and Adventure Tourism

In certain areas of the Galapagos Marine Reserve, it is possible to partake in both deep or shallow diving and to have close-up contact with the impressive aquatic species of the sea: coral reefs, whales, whale sharks, hammer head sharks, sting rays, manta rays, sword fish, turtles, and many others. In the depths of the sea, there are strong ocean currents and the impressive extrusions of lava that shouldn’t be missed by divers while they are enjoying the exotic marine wildlife. Other marine habitats are formed of rocky bottoms, vertical walls, and mangroves. The area is sometimes affected by natural phenomena, such as cold water currents and the effects of El Niño.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve encompasses an area of over 133,000 square km.. Diving in the Archipelago is one of the greatest adventures possible. The area is considered one of the seven most important regions in the world for divers. Islands such as Santiago, Bartolomé, and Floreana (La Corona del Diablo) all offer excellent diving. One of the most interesting tours passes through the lava formations of the island of Santiago. And on Santa Cruz, there are trails that wind through the island’s vegetation of cactus, scrub, and mangroves. On these islands, studied by Charles Darwin, there are 54 land sites where tourists can go on walks with specialized guides.

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Sun and Beach/Virgin Beaches

Tortuga Bay, located in Puerto Ayora (Isla Santa Cruz), is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Galapagos Islands. It includes two beaches, separated by a headland of mangroves, each of which is covered with marble colored sands. On Floreana, on the other hand, there is Playa Negra, the black lava beach. On the island of Santiago, there are also beaches ideal for swimming. Other beaches include: Playa Ochoa (San Cristóbal), Playa Espumilla (Marchena), and Playa Bahía Darwin (Genovesa).

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| Protected Areas | Adventure Tourism | Beaches |

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