Santiago Island, Ecuador Cruise Port, 2024, 2025 and 2026 Cruises to Santiago Island, Ecuador | The Cruise Web

Santiago Island, Ecuador Cruise Port

The cruise port of Santiago Island, Ecuador has been bestowed with several names. Part of the Galápagos Islands, it's also called San Salvador (named for the first island that Columbus found in the Caribbean Sea) and James Island (after England's King James II). Not only is it known for its amazing variety of wildlife, but for its two overlapping volcanoes. There are no humans currently living here, although when Charles Darwin visited in 1835, he found the Spanish on the island, drying fish and salt tortoise meat. Eventual conservation efforts left the animals to live in peace and repopulate, such as the Galápagos crake (or Galápagos rail), a flightless bird almost wiped out by goats and pigs. There are several different sites on the island where nature lovers can appreciate what Darwin found nearly 200 years ago. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Santiago Island, Ecuador:
  • Geology (and volcanology) fans will want to visit Sullivan Bay on the island's east coast, which is covered with un-eroded black lava. There are different fascinating patterns in the lava, such as rope, bubbles, and some pieces with fairly sharp edges. Keep an eye out for nesting turtles on the beaches.
  • Teeming with wildlife, Cousins Rock is also one of the best-known dive sites in the Galápagos. Found off the east coast of the island, divers can spot marine creatures such as seahorses, frogfish, sea lions, eagle rays, and more.
  • Located on Santiago's west site is Puerto Egas, one of the best sites to see the island's fur seals, thanks to its rocky grottos. It's also an excellent place to see the famous marine iguanas. Snorkelers will find some colorful tropical fish as well.
  • Just off the southeastern tip of Santiago you'll find Sombrero Chino ("Chinese Hat"), a small islet made up of a fairly volcanic cone. There's a visitor's site and sea lion cove on the northern shore. From here, you can look toward Santiago and do some penguin-spotting.

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