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Floreana Island – Galapagos

Floreana Island – Galapagos

Best known for its colourful history of buccaneers, whalers, convicts and early colonists, it is one of the earliest islands to be inhabited. Named after Juan Jose Flores, the first President of Ecuador, during whose administration the government of Ecuador took possession of the archipelago. It has an area of 1087 square miles and a maximum altitude of 2,100 feet. Floreana is also one of the archipelago’s oldest islands. Unlike the younger western islands, Floreana’s volcano has been long extinct and is in the advanced stages of erosion. This erosion process gives the island the nutrients and soils to sustain plant life, which is why the highlands of Floreana have a diverse landscape of native and introduced fauna. The island is populated; Puerto Velasco Ibarra is the main settlement with a few hundred inhabitants.

The island has a number of visitor sites:

Punta Cormorant

At Punta Cormorant you will walk on an olivine beach (a mineral known for its olive-green quality, that is found in meteorites, the moon and mars as well as on earth), visit a large lagoon where Greater Flamingos sometimes nest, and walk over to Flour Beach, a beautiful white sandy beach to look for Green Sea Turtle nests.

Activities: Hike (0.7 mi / 1.2km)

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet landing

Highlights & Animals: An easy walk along a coastal lagoon where flamingos are often found, along with stilts and ducks. White sand beach.

Asilo de la Paz

Some fascinating human history from the island to be seen here as well great views! You will drive up from the small town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra, up to the site which is a freshwater spring and the location of one of the pirate caves that was home also to some of the first human settlers in the islands, including Dr. Ritter and later the Wittmer family. On the way up you will stop to climb Cerro Alieri, where a good number of steps will take you up to a breath taking view and fantastic landscape.

Activities: Hike (up steps) (1.2 mi / 2km)

Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Highlights & Animals: Amazing views and fantastic landscape, fascinating human history

La Loberia

A large colony of Galapagos Sea lions, along the shoreline you will also have the chance to see marine iguanas, rays, sea turtles and sometimes sharks can be spotted and if you are lucky there may also be the chance to see Galapagos Penguins.

Activities: Snorkelling, dinghy ride

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights & Animals: Galapagos Sea lions, marine iguanas, rays and sea turtles.

Champion Islet

A dinghy ride around this small pristine islet gives you the opportunity to see the elusive Floreana Mockingbird. Excellent snorkel.

Activities: Snorkelling & dinghy ride & hike (1.2 mi/2km)

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights & Animals: One of the best snorkelling sites in Galapagos, with sea lions, reef sharks, rays, rock formations and lots of tropical fish.

Floreana – Devil’s Crown

One of the highlights of this area is snorkelling at Devil’s Crown, a partially submerged crater teeming with Parrotfish, Wrasse, Surgeonfish, and Damselfish among many other varieties of tropical fish.

Activities: Snorkel

Difficulty: Moderate. Strong current

Type of Landing: No landing

Highlights & Animals: One of the best snorkelling sites in the islands, but a strong current can be a challenge for very inexperienced divers. Sea lions, reef sharks, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, rays, many fish.

Post Office Bay

The famous Post Office Bay is where people leave their mail to be picked up and delivered by others in the “post office” barrel—a time-honoured tradition begun by whalers more than two hundred years ago.

Activities: Short hike (less than 0.2 mi / 0.3km), lava tunnel & snorkelling

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet landing

Highlights & Animals: Barrel Post Office, lava tunnel inland (difficult access), nice sandy beach

Puerto Velasco Ibarra

Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a small town. From here you travel up to the highlands of Floreana where you will see the contrasting lush vegetation, with beautiful forests of Scalesia (Giant asters). Near the only fresh water spring on Floreana, (which was used for centuries by pirates, whalers and travellers), there is a corral where a collection of giant tortoises is kept in near-natural conditions. This is also the place where you can see the Medium Tree Finch and the chance to explore some caves that were dug out by pirates.

Activities: Bus ride to the highlands and hike (less than 0.6 mi / 1km), to fresh water spring and tortoise corral

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Dry landing

Highlights & Animals: Lush highland vegetation, land tortoises, Medium Tree Finch

Baroness Viewpoint

Baroness Viewpoint is a fantastic place to absorb the environment of the Galapagos. Once inhabited by an indulgent Baroness and her three lovers, the history of this island is intriguing. The legends about this baroness are associated with a fascinating murder mystery. There are easy trails in this area to an outlook to see wonderful vistas of Punta Cormorant, Post Office Bay and the Loberia.

Activities: Short hike (0.2 mi / 0.3 km)

Difficulty: Easy

Type of Landing: Wet landing

Highlights & Animals: Great view, sea turtles, mysterious story about the first inhabitants of the islands

  • Floreana Devils Crown Snorkelling
  • Floreana Green Sea Turtle
  • Floreana Island Galapagos Ray
  • Floreana Punta Cormorant
  • Galapagos flamingo
  • galapagos Sea lion floreana