The Galapagos Islands are famous for their unique and diverse wildlife and vegetation, but the landscape is spectacular, too. These photos were taken on a week-long cruise of the Galapagos.
Most of the Galapagos Islands have both an English name and a Spanish name. In addition, some of the islands have an official name given to it by the Ecuadorian government in 1892. Printed and online material and maps may use any of these names. Here is a list of the islands we visited with their various English/Spanish/Official names:
- Chinese Hat=Sombrero Chino
- James=Santiago=San Salvador
- North Seymour=Seymour Norte
- Barrington=Sante Fe
- Floreana=Santa Maria=Charles
- Indefatigable=Santa Cruz=Chavez
More Photos and Information from Quasar Expedition Cruise to the Galapagos Islands
- Galapagos Cruise Travel Log - Quasar Expeditions' Evolution
- Quasar Expeditions' M/V Evolution - Expedition Yacht Profile and Ship Tour
- Galapagos Islands Wildlife Photo Gallery
- Photo Gallery of Galapagos Islands Activities from the M/V Evolution of Quasar Expeditions
- Quasar Expeditions' M/V Evolution Photo Gallery
- Things to See and Do with a Day in Guayaquil
- Guayaquil, Ecuador Photo Gallery
The light is always wonderful in the morning, and this island seems to almost glow in the early part of the day.
Cacti on James Island
Our first morning on the Evolution, we used the pangas to motor along James Island and Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) Island. The island was full of these striking cacti.
Santiago Island (also called James Island) Lava Flows
The snorkeling in this area was terrific, and we saw lots of fish, penguins swimming under water, and white-tipped reef sharks.
Lava Beach Covered with Sally Lightfoot Crabs on Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat)
These bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs are a dramatic contrast to the black lava beach of Sombrero Chino.
Marine Iguana on Chinese Hat Island
Can you see the small marine iguana on the white sandy beach? You have to have sharp eyes in the Galapagos to see some of the wildlife.
Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) Island
This pointed lava cone gives Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) Island its name.
James Island Grotto
This rocky grotto on James Island in the Galapagos is home to some Galapagos fur seals.
Boats at Anchor in Darwin Bay of Genovesa (Tower) Island
Many places in the Galapagos seem almost deserted; Darwin Bay on Genovesa (also called Tower) Island was not one of them.
Prince Philip's Steps on Isla Genovesa (Tower)
These steep steps are used to climb to the top of the cliffs overlooking Darwin Bay. Once on top, visitors can hike along a trail and see many seabirds, vegetation, and lava formations.
Top of the Cliff on Genovesa (Tower) Island
After climbing Prince Philip's Steps and walking across the cliff, visitors are treated to this view of the Pacific Ocean, along with many seabirds and interesting vegetation.
Beach on Floreana Island
Two small ships were on this Floreana Island beach on the same morning. Rare occurrence for us!
Post Office on Floreana Island
Our guide Sam explains that this "post office" doesn't require stamps. Visitors write a post card or letter, and put it in the box. Then, they sort through all the other items to see if an addressee lives near them back home. If so, they take the card/letter and hand deliver it. Tradition started with the old sailing ships. I received a card I "mailed" 8 weeks after dropping it in the box. It wasn't hand-delivered, but was still fun to see it again and re-live the memories.
Devil's Crown - Rocky Islet near Floreana Island
Devil's Crown is a small craggy islet, which is right off Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. This spot has great snorkeling.
Flamingo Lagoon on Floreana Island
Flamingos and other wading birds frequent this hyper-saline lagoon. Unfortunately, we had to use binoculars to get a good look at the only flamingos we saw. None were close to the trail.
Beach on Floreana Island
This pristine beach looks perfect for swimming, but the waters were filled with dozens of sting rays and sharks. Turtles also lay their eggs in the dunes, so many birds were flying overhead.
Isla Santa Fe Prickly Pear (Opuntia) Cacti
The tall vegetation on Santa Fe Island aren't palm trees, they are giant prickly pear (opuntia) cacti, many of which are over 30 feet high.
We saw some amazing sunsets from the Quasar Evolution on our expedition cruise of the Galapagos Islands.
Mangroves near Baltra Island
Our last morning on the Evolution, several of us boarded a panga before dawn to explore this mangrove forest. Seeing the area come alive as the sky lightened was a memorable ending to our cruise.