Floreana, officially “Santa María,” is located at the far south of the archipelago. The island is associated with a strange and curious history of its inhabitants. Snorkeling around this area is one of the best in the Galapagos.
Asilo de la Paz is a visitor site of historical significance on Floreana Island located 5 mi (8 km) from Puerto Velasco Ibarra. Along the trail to the top of a 1476 ft (450 m) tall hill, visitors will pass through a Scalesia tree forest and see a corral where Galapagos tortoises from San Cristóbal Island are kept (the native Floreana tortoises have gone extinct). Visitors will discover the caves where some of the first human settlers on Floreana Island stayed and also encounter a fresh water spring.
Highlights: Historic caves, fresh water spring, Galapagos petrels, medium tree finches, Galapagos tortoises in captivity
Activities: Hiking along a trail leading to the top of the hill
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Difficulty: Difficult as the trail leads up to an altitude of 1476 ft (450m). Closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.
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1. The official name of the island is “Santa María” and its English name is “Charles,” but it is most commonly known as “Floreana.”
2. Animals: Flamingos, sea turtles
3. Area: 67 sq. mi
4. Highest Point: 2,099 ft