Best Galapagos Sites

Galapagos Sites for wildlife observation, snorkeling and hiking in the Islands and the evenly distribution of visitors at the same time.


The Galapagos National Park was declared as such back in 1959. Tourism, however, was hardly considered a formal activity in the Archipelago.

Little by little, more people became aware that visiting the Galapagos Islands could actually be done.

Here lies one of the main reasons why the Islands that included important areas of Galapagos Wildlife Observation had to have a higher level of protection.

This is how visitor sites became the Islands' most important feature for organized tourism.

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Galapagos sites in the National Park were established since the 1970's, and over time, some have been closed and others have been opened.

Best Galapagos Sites

  • North Seymour
  • South Plaza
  • Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Station, Caleta Tortuga, Tortuga Bay and Lava Tubes in Santa Cruz Island
  • Pinnacle Rock in Bartolome Island
  • Sullivan Bay
  • Post Office Bay in Floreana Island
  • Gordon Rocks
  • Gardener Bay and Punta Suarez in Espanola Island
  • Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island
  • Frigatebird Hill in San Cristobal Island

Currently, over 92 visitor sites are available, and they have been classified as Intensive Use Zones and Extensive Use Zones.

The difference between these two has only to do with the fragility of the visitor site (an index labeled as visitor carrying capacity), but it is worth noting that only 3% of the National Park is devoted to tourism.

Therefore, when visiting Galapagos you are touching an extremely small fraction of the Islands' protected land.

Yet, most visits remain un-crowded, thanks to the efforts of the National Park at assigning fixed itineraries for all vessels, regardless size.

In order to clearly show the Galapagos sites or designated areas for visiting, black and white stakes have been placed throughout the location.

Galapagos Naturalist Guides conduct shore visits and environmental interpretation happens along the trail. One of the rules of the Galapagos National Park is to stay on the trails.

It is only with visitors' awareness and cooperation that we can contribute to the great effort of preserving an Island ecosystem.

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This is a clear example on how the visitor becomes a direct key player in the sustainability of the destination.

Very few physical changes have taken place on the islands, as part of the designation of visitor sites.

Perhaps, the most obvious is the building of a small dock, which is only used for landing purposes (yes, of course, sea lions love these wonderful flat structures).

Once inland, very few Galapagos sites include modification of the walking areas, and the terrain therefore, remains untouched.

Like in some other places, we could have made all sites easily accessible, and posing no difficulties whatsoever. But, it would sharply contrast against the dramatic nature of the Galapagos Volcanic Terrain

Plus, anything artificially built, will contradict the nature of this kind of trip. Some of the terrain variations include boulders, lava flows, tuff-stone layers, sandy beaches, brush, loose pebbles, and more.

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You will see that diversity is easily witnessed on every Island outing. This is another remarkable feature of the Galapagos Islands' perpetual enigma: why is each Island so different...?

Come and see the Islands by yourself, and enjoy the Galapagos sites that are part of this tropical jewel in the Pacific Ocean.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!

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If you have any questions about Galapagos Sites, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Tour Packages to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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