Named after the English King James II, Santiago was visited by Charles Darwin on board The Beagle. This island has a long history of human visitors from whalers and tortoise hunters to salt miners, all had an impact on the local fauna. Fortunately, the Galapagos National Park conservation work has resulted in rapid recovery of the local vegetation and species.


It is one of the islands with the most amazing Geological formations. Contrasting landscapes product of lava flows with different shapes and colors. Santiago is the fourth in size and it

is situated in the center of the archipelago

Highlights and Wildlife: Human history, landscapes, different visitor sites.

Landing: Dry, wet landing

Activities: Hike, snorkeling, kayaking, diving.

Total Area: 572 km2 /221 mi2

Population: Uninhabited


Sullivan Bay is a geological highlight in the Galapagos. It is located in the east of Santiago Island.  This is the ideal site to learn about the volcanic origin and geology of the Galapagos. Visitors have the possibility to walk through lava flows that formed after an eruption in the second half of the 19th century.

The landscape, through this almost lunar-like walk, goes across black pahoehoe lava which changes form and color as it reaches inland where the lava flows are older. Here the only visible flora is the molluga plants and lava cactuses.

Highlights and Wildlife: Geology, lava flows, lava cactus. 

Landing: Wet Landing

Activities: Hiking, snorkeling, Swimming

Activity Difficulty:  Easy to moderate


This is a small islet off the southeast coast of Santiago. It has a very characteristic volcanic profile resembling a traditional China hat. 

There is a short and fairly easy trail that takes visitors through the shore through lava formations and lava tubes. The landscape and surroundings are fascinating contrasting the turquoise sea and the lava fields. Along the trail i tis possible to observe lava lizards, sea lions and marine iguanas.

The water surrounding this site is calm and excellent for snorkelers, where sharks, sea lions, and Galapagos penguins can be observed.

Highlights and Wildlife: Beautiful landscape. Marine iguanas, lava lizards, sally lightfoot crabs, seabirds.  Whitetip sharks, sea lions, penguins, and rays.

Landing: Wet Landing

Activities: Hiking, snorkeling, swimming

Activity Difficulty: 

  • Walking: Easy
  • Snorkeling: Easy
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