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Best Hiking Trails in the Galapagos Islands

Story by Latin Trails - Galapagos Journey Cruises


Galapagos could be an example of evolution, rare wildlife, and beautiful landscapes, however, the Enchanted Islands offer great hiking and trekking routes that will likely surprise frequent hikers. The challenge is which islands have the best hiking; and which cruise itinerary offers access to them.

Imagine hiking up a mountain to a huge volcano crater or walking around a lava field with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.  Stunning landscapes and inspiring vistas are the rewards for a short walk or hike.

The Galapagos Sea Star Journey includes amazing hiking trails on every itinerary. For example, the Volcano Sierra Negra hike is one of the highlights on Isabela Island, and travelers can visit it when taking the cruise to the western islands (Itinerary C). It’s difficult to know the hiking or trekking locations when cruising the Galapagos Islands.

To answer that challenge, Latin Trails has prepared the following list based on the itineraries followed by the award-winning boutique yacht, the Galapagos Sea Star Journey:

Eastern and Central Islands (Itinerary A)

  • Punta Suarez – Española Island: This is an oceanfront walk to reach the magnificent blowhole that spurts water up to 50-75 meters high. During this hike, travelers can watch blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, and albatrosses.
    • Difficulty: Medium

Española Island Blowhole
Blowhole - Española Island

  • Cormorant Point – Floreana Island: Travelers will walk along two tuff lava cones to reach the distinctive Green Beach (due to olivine crystals in the sand) and Flour Sand Beach which is made up of coral.
    • Difficulty: Low

  • Post Office Bay & Baroness Lookout – Floreana Island: Short walking trail to reach a wooden barrel that has been serving as a post office since the XVIII century. After that, travelers will visit the Baroness lookout that used to be the favorite site of Baroness Eloisa von Wagner.
    • Difficulty: Low

Post Office Bay - Latin Trails
Post Office Bay - Floreana Island

  • Santa Fe Island: Travelers will have a wet landing at the clear water beach among sea lion colonies. A trail that leads visitors to see a Giant Prickly Pear Cactus.
    • Difficulty: Low

  • North Seymour Island: On this site, Galapagos Sea Star´s guests can walk around the island among frigate birds, swallowed-tailed gulls, and blue-footed boobies that with luck will be performing their courtship dance or nesting on the trail.
    • Difficulty: Low

Central Islands (Itinerary B)

  • Dragon Hill – Santa Cruz Island: There is a short walk first to the hypersaline lagoon frequented by many flamingos, and then a short hike to the hill to have a beautiful view of the bay.
    • Difficulty: Medium

Dragon Hill - Galapagos Island
Dragon Hill - Galapagos Island

  • Chinese Hat: On this iconic site, travelers can visit this recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when it is seen from the north side. During the trek, guests can walk among lava tubes, and lava flows partially occupied by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.
    • Difficulty: Low

  • Bartholome Island: This is one of the most iconic hikes across Sullivan Bay.  It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where travelers can observe one of the beautiful sceneries of volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea.
    • Difficulty: Medium

Bartolome Island - Latin Trails
Bartolome Island Lookout View

  • El Barranco – Genovesa Island: Located in the southern side of Genovesa Island, this visitor site offers a rocky volcanic trail that covers 1.5 km, and visitors can hike it for approximately 2 hours in a fragile lava field.
    • Difficulty: Medium

El Barranco - Latin Trails
El Barranco Steps

  • Darwin Bay – Genovesa Island: Sea Star´s guests will have a wet landing in this white coral sandy beach. The beauty of this trek is the opportunity to walk among many birds species such as the red-footed boobies, lava gulls, yellow and black-crowned lava herons, for example. The trail finishes at the edge of the cliff with an outstanding view of the island and the many birds living there.
    • Difficulty: Low

  • Sullivan Bay – Santiago Island: The trek in this bay it is along one of the active volcanoes of Galapagos. The journey goes through many young flows and cones.
    • Difficulty: Low

Sullivan Bay - Latin Trails
Sullivan Bay - Santiago Island

Western Islands (Itinerary C)

  • White Tipped Reef Shark – Isabela Island: There is a short trail that allows travelers walk among a volcanic lava field with many marine iguanas and lava lizards, but the highlight is stopping by at the channel where the white tipped reef shark rest.
    • Difficulty: Low

White Tipped Reef Channel - Latin Trails
White Tipped Reef Channel Trek

  • Sierra Negra Volcano – Isabela Island: This is one of the most demanding hikes offer by the Galapagos Sea Star Journey. It takes approximately 1:30 – 2:00 hours hiking and at the end of the trail guests will be astonished by the view of the 12 km crater´s wide. The view is simply spectacular!
    • Difficulty: Medium-High

Sierra Negra Volcano - Latin Trails
Sierra Negra Volcano - Isabela Island

  • Punta Moreno – Isabela Island: The trails are along a corrugated lava flow like an accordion and among many bird species.
    • Difficulty: Low

  • Tagus Cove – Isabela Island: It is a site to tour along the cliffs. There is a hike up to the lookout point that requires 30 minutes hike approximately. From the top, there is a magnificent view of the ultra-saline Darwin Lake, and on the other side the cove.
    • Difficulty: Medium

Tagus Cove - Latin Trails
Tagus Cove Lookout View

  • Puerto Egas – Santiago Islands: It is a black beach formed by the volcanic tuff deposits. The trek is in a rocky land with many sea lions and birds.
    • Difficulty: Low

Puerto Egas - Latin Trails
Puerto Egas - Santiago Island

Each itinerary onboard the Galapagos Sea Star cruise offers different journeys that can challenge hikers depending on the level they would like to experience in the Galapagos Islands.

For more information and details about the itineraries, the activities, and the services offered aboard the Galapagos Sea Star Journey, please contact Latin Trails at [email protected].