Santiago Island is an island of the Galapagos Islands. It is also known as San Salvador, named after the first island discovered by Columbus in the Caribbean Sea, or as James Island. The island, which consists of two overlapping volcanoes, has an area of 585 km² and a maximum altitude of 907 meters, atop the northwestern shield volcano. The volcano in the island’s southwest erupted along a linear fissure, and is much lower. The oldest lava flows on the island date back to 750,000 years ago.
Marine Iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, crabs, dolphins, and sharks are found here. There are a large number of goats and pigs, animals which were introduced by humans to the islands and have caused great harm to the endemic species. Darwin Finches and Galápagos Hawks are usually seen as well as a colony of Fur Seals. At Sullivan Bay, a recent (1897) pahoehoe lava flow can be observed. Puerto Egas, south of James Bay on the west side of Santiago, is one of the best sites. There is a long, lava shoreline where eroded rock formations house an excellent variety of wildlife. Marine iguanas bask in the sun while land iguanas scatter around feeding on exposed algae. The tide pools contain many Sally Lightfoot crabs, which attract other types of hunters. Following the trail Fur seal lions are found. Puerto Egas is not only a good spot for taking pictures but also perfect for snorkelling and seeing many species of tropical fish.
Rabida Island, is one of the Galapagos Islands. The island has also been known as Jervis Island named in honour of the 18th-century British admiral John Jervis. In Ecuador it is officially known as Isla Rabida. In addition to flamingos and the bachelor sea lion colony, pelicans, white-cheeked pintails, boobies, and nine species of finch have been reported. The rich wildlife attracts a number of tourists cruises.In 1971 the National Park Service successfully eradicated goats from Rábida. This introduced species upset the natural environment and led to the extinction of several native creatures including geckos, land iguanas, and rice rats.
Special moments: early morning hiking along the beautiful lava shoreline of Puerto Egas with numerous photographs of marine animals, interesting rock formations, lava channels and bridges including Darwin’s toilet (Google it), fur seals and the tropical fish seen while snorkelling at Puerto Egas; the beautiful red rock, shoreline, hike and shallow water snorkel (our final snorkel of this trip) of Rabida Island.