This first-settled Galápagos island is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with scenic hiking trails amid lush highlands and superb snorkeling sites.
Enjoy a Galápagos experience on Floreana Island (Isla Floreana). This hilly island features many of the archipelago’s famous residents, including giant tortoises and sea turtles. Floreana Island is the island first inhabited by humans. Whalers arrived in 1793, followed by a shipwrecked Irish sailor in 1807, Ecuadorians in 1832 and later an Austrian baroness.
Puerto Velasco Ibarra is the main entry point and the island’s tourist center. Sleepy sea lions often greet visitors arriving by boat to the town pier. Catch boats and tour buses from the town to the island’s coastal and highland attractions.
Cruise around the northern coastline to Cormorant Point, where you can mingle with sea lions, spot nesting sea turtles and watch flamingos at a lagoon. Visit Post Office Bay, the site of a makeshift mail box erected by the island’s earliest whalers. A short walk from here is a lava tunnel, accessible by climbing down a ladder.
Walk the trail that leads to a volcanic tuff called La Baronesa Lookout. Admire the views of red mangroves, Post Office Bay and Pajas Hill, looking inland. The lookout takes its name from the Austrian baroness Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet, who disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 1934. Nearby are the ruins of her former home.
Head into the heart of the highlands and visit Alieri Hill, which shelters nearly 50 different plant species. Peek inside pirate caves and get close to giant tortoises at Asilo de la Paz.
Be amazed by the vivid colors of the coral reef and fish while snorkeling at Devil’s Crown. Look up to see birds, such as boobies, frigate birds, pelicans and tropicbirds, swooping above the rocky cliffs. The offshore islets of Champion Island, Enderby Island, Gardner Island and Watson Island teem with green sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks.
Discover Floreana Island on a day tour from Santa Cruz Island or include it on a multiday island-hopping excursion.