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Galapagos Islands: Main Attractions
(page 9 of 11)

Galapagos Marine Reserve
Arguably, the most impressive aspect of the Galapagos lies under the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Within its rich and fertile waters, bathed by numerous currents, the Galapagos Marine Reserve is home to a plethora of species of sharks, whales, turtles and other exotic fish. And of course the playful sea lions are always nearby to entertain you with their antics. So practice your scuba diving skills as the Galapagos is not for the weak of stomach or the uninitiated.

That said, the land aspect of the Galapagos is still quite impressive and alone worth the visit. Besides the fascinating and unique flora and fauna are the incredible other worldly vistas of volcanic islands and the quasi-religious sense of walking in Darwin's footsteps. Among the standout sites are:

Black Turtle Cove
This is found to the Northeast of Santa Cruz Island and is the second largest island in the Archipelago. It has many areas of mangroves and is one of the most important areas for the reproduction of marine and bird species.
You can see the sea turtles copulating from the end of November to May. White and black finned sharks are commonly seen; frigates, pelicans and blue-footed boobies generally feed in this site. Finches, cuckoos and lava herons nest in the mangroves. There are three of the four types of mangroves that are endemic to the Islands, and they form true forests with multiple entrances and exits where noise from motors is not allowed, you paddle here.

La Punta Cormorant
To the north, on the Island of Santa Maria or Floreana, is the Cormorant Point that has an extension of 173 mt 2 and is 640 meters above sea level. It is an area with volcanic cones. Its landing point is a beautiful green beach, produced by the erosion of the lava combined with the sea salt that crashes against the coast. It is an excellent place for the crabs and sea lions on the coast, it is also good for snorkeling.
To the interior of the island, there is a lake that is fed by the tides. Here you can see flamingos, royal terns, ducks, migrating birds and beautiful vegetation with a high tolerance of salt. If you follow the trail, after 10 minutes of walking - to the south of the lake - is a beautiful white beach with very fine sand. This is a site for feeding for rays and a nesting site for turtles, swimming is not allowed.

Punta Suárez
This is located on Española Island which is found to the south of the Archipelago and covers an area of 60 km2 and has an altitude of 206 m above sea level.
Here you can see a large number of sea lions. The first impression of the Island will be how the animals live in complete peace and harmony between species: marine iguanas, gulls, blue-footed boobies, crabs, lava lizards.
On the trail, you can see boobies on their nests with eggs or young, also marine iguanas in the act of mating. You can also observe masked boobies, whose nesting area is differentiated from the blue-footed boobies. There are also tropic birds in their caves, crabs with beautiful colors that cover the black lava; multi-colored swallow-tailed gulls.
There is also the "Blow Hole" which expels water up to 25 meters above the sea when the waves are big and it is high tide. There are also albatross, whose colony has some 15,000 pairs, this species nests from April to November.

Gardener Bay
Located to the northeast on Española Island, Gardener Bay is one of the most peaceful beaches in the world. Its sand is white and fine and the water has soft waves with a gradual depth. Gardener Bay is an excellent place for swimming with sea lions, walking on the beaches and admiring the cuckoos, finches, sea turtle nests and almost always the Galapagos hawk, whose territory is found here. It is an area with small islets where you can snorkel.


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