Here you will find a list of the main Galapagos Islands and some general information on the size and types of species found on each.

1.Baltra (South Seymour) Island – Also known as South Seymour, Baltra is a small flat island near the center of the Galápagos. Baltra Airport is one of two airports. Private planes fly to Baltra, as it is the only airport with facilities for planes overnight. A small bay accommodates the boats awaiting passengers for the cruises of the Galapagos.

2. Bartolome (Bartholomew) Island – A volcanic islet just off the east coast of Santiago Island. One of the "younger" islands. This island is one of the few that is home to the Galapagos penguin, the only wild penguin species to live on the equator. The green turtle also resides on the island.

3. Darwin (Culpepper) Island – Named after Charles Darwin. It has an area of 1.1 square kms. Fur seals, frigates, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, whales, marine turtles, and red-footed and Nazca boobies can be seen here.

4. Espanola (Hood) Island – Named in honor of Spain and also known as Hood, after Viscount Samuel Hood. It is 60 square kms and the oldest and most southern of the islands (approx 3.5 million years). Due to its remote location, the island has a large number of its own species of lava lizard, mockingbirds and tortoise.

The marine iguanas exhibit a distinct red coloration change during the breeding season. It is the only place where the waved albatross nests. The islands steep cliffs are a perfect place for birds to take off for their ocean feeding grounds. Espanola has two visitor sites. Gardner Bay for swimming and snorkeling, offers a great beach. Punta Suarez has migrant, resident, and endemic wildlife.

5. Ferandina (Narborough) Island – Named in honor of King Ferdinand 11 of Aragon, who sponsored the voyage of Columbus. An area of 642 square kms The youngest and westernmost island. Hundreds of marine iguanas gather, mainly on black lava rocks. The famous flightless cormorants inhabit this island, as do Galapagos penguins, pelicans, Galapagos sea lions, and Galapagos fur seals. Here you can see lava flows and mangrove forests.

6. Floreana (Charles or Santa Maria) Island – Named after Juan Jose Flores, the first President of Ecuador. It has an area of 173 square kms. One of the first to be inhabited. Flamingos and green sea turtles nest on the island. The Galapagos petrel, a sea bird, is found here. At Post Office Bay, whalers kept a wooden barrel that acted as a post office for mail. An underwater volcanic cone and coral formations can be found at the “Devil's Crown”.

7. Genovesa (Tower) Island – Named for Genoa, Italy where Columbus was born. An area of 14 square kms. This island is the edge of a large submerged crater. Nicknamed “bird island” for the many rare birds that can be seen there. There is a large Palo Santo forest.

8. Isabela (Albemarie) Island – Named in honor of Queen Isabela. With an area of 4,640 square kms it is the largest island of the Galapagos. The island was created by the merging of six large volcanoes into a single land mass. Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, pelicans and Sally lightfoot crabs abound. The island has an interesting lowland vegetation. The 3rd largest inhabited island, and the only island to have the equator run through it.

9. Marchena (Bindloe) Island - Named after Fray Antonio Marchena, it has an area of 130 square kms. Home of Galapagos hawks, sea lions and the Marchena lava lizard, an endemic animal.

10. North Seymour Island – Named for Lord Hugh Seymour, an English Nobleman. It has an area of 1.9 square kms. Formed by a geological uplift, it is home to numerous species of birds. North Seymour is an extraordinary place for breeding birds.

11. Pinzon (Duncan) Island – Named after the Pinzon brothers, captains of the Pinta and Nina sailing ships, it has an area of 18 square kms.

12. Pinta (Abingdon) Island – Named after the Pinta sailing ship, with an area of 60 square km. Sea lions, Galapagos hawks, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and dolphins can be seen here.

13. Rabida (Jervis) Island – Named for the convent where Columbus left his son during his voyage to the Americas. It has an area of 4.9 square kms. Iron contained in the lava gives it a distinctive red color. White-cheeked pintail ducks live in a saltwater lagoon. Nine species of finches have been reported on this island.

14. San Cristobal (Chatham) Island – Named for the patron saint of seafarers, St. Christopher. Chatham was given for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. An area of 558 square kms. This island hosts frigate birds, sea lions, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, tropicbirds, marine iguanas, dolphins, and swallow tailed gulls. The islands has the largest freshwater lake in the archipelago, Laguna El Junco. The island has the second airport in the islands and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island is the capital of the province of Galapagos.

15. Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island – Named for the Holy Cross in Spanish, its English name comes from the British vessel HMS Indefatigable. It has an area of 986 square kms. Santa Cruz has the largest population. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service are located here. The Highlands are famous for the lava tunnels. Large tortoise populations are found here. Black Turtle Cove is surrounded by mangroves, with sea turtles, rays and small sharks.

16. Santa Fe (Barrington) Island – Named for a city in Spain, with an area of 24 square kms. Santa Fe hosts a forest of Opuntia Cactus.

17. Santiago (San Salvador, James) Island – Named for Saint James in English, also known as San Salvador, after the first island discovered by Columbus. The island has an area of 585 square kms. Marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks are found here. At Sulivan Bay, a lava flow can be observed.

18. Wolf (Wenman) Island – Named for German geologist Theodor Wolf. It has an area of 1.3 square kms. Here, fur seals, frigatebirds, Nazca and red-footed boobies, marine iguanas, sharks, whales, dolphins and swallow-tailed gulls can be seen. The vampire finch, which feeds partly on blood pecked from other birds, and is only found on this island.

19. Daphne Major – A small island directly north of Santa Cruz and west of Baltra, this very inaccessible island appears, though unnamed, on Ambrose Cowley's 1684 chart. It is important as the location of multidecade finch population studies.

20. South Plaza Island (Plaza Sur) – Named in honor of former president, General Leonidas Plaza of Ecuador.. It has an area of 0.13 square kms. The flora of South Plaza includes Opuntia cactus and Sesuvium plants, which form a reddish carpet on top of the lava formations. Iguanas are abundant, and large numbers of birds can be observed from the cliffs.

21. Nameless Island – A small islet used mostly for scuba diving.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Avril Betts, I am originally from England and now a Canadian Citizen, I have over 25 years experience in all aspects of Travel and Tourism, including running an online agency for over 13 years. I holds a CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator) an internationally recognized accreditation and in 1996 hosted the president’s wives luncheon for the G7 conference.

I have co-chaired Atlantic Canada Showcase an International Travel Trade Show, managed 450 volunteers for the Tall Ships Visit in July 2000, and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia. In 1988 I founded the Country Inn Association in Nova Scotia still going strong today. I have been involved in numerous Travel and Tourism volunteer activities throughout Atlantic Canada and across Canada.

As an experienced speaker I have spoken and presented seminars to large and small audiences for many years on subjects ranging from Marketing and Sales and Life Skills to Tourism, Travel and Real Estate, and operating an online Travel business.

As a recognized tourism expert I am accustomed to working with tourists and passing on my knowledge of the various destinations to help them make the most of their vacations.
Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or travel inquiries.