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Santiago Island - Galapagos

About Santiago

Santiago Island has a narrow, steep-sided point of land, which provides an extraordinarily beautiful landscape complete with cliffs and pinnacles where hundreds of marine birds rest. During the 17th and 18th centuries, pirates used this site for maintaining their ships, and supplying themselves with fresh water, meat, and firewood.

 Santiago Fast Facts


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» Cruises that visit Santiago Island

Santiago Visitor sites:


Buccaneer CoveBuccaneer Cove

Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent site.

  • Highlights: Sea birds, historical site, snorkeling, rock formations
  • Possible Activities: Short walk along the beach (less than 0.6 mi/1 km)
  • Type of Landing: Wet Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Egas PortEgas Port

Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site. More about Egas Port

  • Highlights: Fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and "grottos", Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.
  • Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.25 mi/2 km)
  • Type of Landing: Wet Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy/moderate

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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James BayJames Bay

Off the northwest coast of Santiago Island, fur seals and sea lions join you in the dive.

  • Highlights: Fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and "grottos", Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.
  • Possible Activities: Snorkeling, hiking (1.25 mi/2 km)
  • Type of Landing: Wet Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy/moderate

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Albany IsletAlbany Islet

A sloping rock wall with interesting nooks and crannies to explore. If you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the fascinating red-lipped batfish.

  • Highlights: Crevices and pinnacles provide home to tiger nudibranchs, sea turtles, Galapagos black coral, barnacles, Galapagos sharks and golden eagle rays.
  • Experience: Minimum advanced open water and 40 logged dives
  • Depth: 2-30 m (7-98 ft)
  • Currents: Minimal to moderate
  • Average Water Temp: 18-26 C (65-78 F)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Visibility: 12-21 m (40-70 ft)

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

Chinese HatChinese Hat

This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet's summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows. More about Chinese Hat

  • Highlights: White sandy beach, marine birds, snorkeling
  • Possible Activities: Hike & snorkeling (1,9 miles / 3 km)
  • Type of Landing: Wet Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy/moderate

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Espumilla BeachEspumilla Beach

Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eels, and sharks, snorkeling is highly recommended.

  • Highlights: Snorkeling
  • Possible Activities: Snorkeling and swimming
  • Type of Landing: Wet Landing
  • Difficulty: Easy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Sullivan BaySullivan Bay

A coral beach landing leads you towards a lava field as far as the eye can see. Hunt and peck over the two distinguished types of lava, pahoehoe and 'a'a, for signs of plant life that have managed to emerge over the past 100 years since the most recent volcanic explosion. A truly amazing volcanic experience... up close and personal!

  • Highlights: Variety of lava formations and landscapes, pahoehoe lava which is found primarily in Hawai'i and the Galapagos islands, 'a'a lava, and pristine coral sand beach
  • Possible Activities: Walk, snorkel, swim
  • Type of Landing: Wet landing
  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate. Be sure to wear good solid walking shoes or boots as the 'a'a lava is very sharp and pointy

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

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Cousins RocksCousins Rocks

Just one of the many islets that help form the archipelago, this dive has a great deal to offer the advanced diver. With sloping rock plate formations and a wall that drops farther than the eye can see, divers will come across hidden sea horses and octopi, Galapagos black coral, frogfish, and hammerheads and Galapagos sharks! This site offers up a buffet of amazing sights for the diver: giant mantas below, sea turtles above, sea horses in the coral, and sea lions that play with your bubbles.

  • Highlights: Green sea turtles and sea lions accompany the diver on the lookout for hammerheads and Galapagos sharks.
  • Experience: Minimum advanced open water diver and 30 logged dives. Divers must have good buoyancy control.
  • Depth: 2 m-30 m maximum dive depth (one side has a rock-plate slope)
  • Currents: Moderate, with surge in shallower waters
  • Average Water Temp: 17C-23C / 63F-73F, depending on the season and special conditions
  • Thermoclines: Often at approximately 25 meters
  • Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced
  • Visibility: 10-20 m (33-66 feet)

*Activities will be operated according to each boat itinerary.

Santiago Pictures

Espumilla Beach
James Bay
Sullivan Bay
Puerto Egas

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