Isla Santa Maria, Provinca de Galapagos Travel Guide

Browse travel reviews, 3 travel blogs and 61 travel photos from real travelers to Isla Santa Maria, Provinca de Galapagos.

Isla Santa Maria, Provinca de Galapagos Overview

More commonly known as Isla Floreana or Isla Charles, this is currently the sixth largest island in the Galapagos (at 173 sq km) and the fourth largest human settlement. It has often been associated with whalers, pirates, buccaneers, convicts and colonists over the years. The first post office in the Galapagos can be found here, which was established by the British in 1793 to send and receive letters from England. The post office was actually just a barrel into which letters were placed, and this tradition continues on to this day where visitors leave postcards so that they can be hand-delivered by future tourists.

It's an important nesting site for marine turtles, sea lions and various other sea birds, and is also inhabited by lovely pink flamingos. A great place to dive, especially at Corona del Diablo (Devil's Crown). This is a partially submerged volcano cone, a semicircular formation of which juts out from under the water. With a spectacular array of brightly colored marine life, this place is also a bird watchers delight.

A short distance from Devil's Crown is Punta Cormorant, a green beach with some good snorkelling and playful sea lion colonies. The beach is green because of olivine minerals found in the sand here. Also some 400m from here is a lovely white sand beach, which is good for swimming. However, be careful of stingrays. Between these two beaches is a beautiful flamingo lagoon.