The eastern islands are geologically the oldest islands in the Galapagos, with many islands (such as Espanola and Santa Fe) formed by the uplift of lava flows that originally spilled out on the seafloor. While still a volcanic landscape, you’ll tend to see more vegetation in the east as fertile soils—created over time—have enabled flora to thrive. An eastern route will include stops at islands such as San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Fe, and Genovesa. These islands are home to key species such as blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca boobies, land and marine iguanas, and the waved albatross. You’ll have more opportunities view sea lions and sharks in the east—it’s also perfect for birders as there are more endemic species.
- Espanola: See an age-old lava landscape, home to brightly colored marine iguana, lava lizards, sea lions, finches, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galapagos hawks; plus home to the only nesting site of the waved albatross
- Santa Fe: Discover an island of uplifted lava topped with Giant Opuntia cacti and Palo Santo trees, rich in wildlife, with plentiful sea lions and endemic land iguanas basking in the sun; enjoy excellent snorkeling opportunities
- Genovesa: Visit an arid, rocky island with gentle slopes and a volcanic caldera; it’s a bird paradise with massive colonies of red-footed and Nazca boobies, frigate birds, and storm petrels; it’s also one of the few places to see short-eared owls during the day
- San Cristobal: Explore the easternmost Galapagos island with lush foliage in its higher (older) western part and the islands’ only freshwater lake; visit scenic Punta Pitt, a popular nesting site for great frigate birds and the only site in Galapagos with all three species of boobies; see the imposing Leon Dormido rock and visit beautiful Cerro Brujo beach
- Floreana: Experience a mix of the gently sloping verdant hills and barren lava flows of volcano-studded Floreana; be wowed by the flamingo lagoon at Punta Cormorant, explore interesting rock formations, learn about human history in the Galapagos, and leave your mail in the barrel at Post Office Bay; also enjoy great snorkeling at Champion Islet or Devil’s Crown
- North Seymour: Witness the courtship dance of the blue-footed booby and see amazing frigate bird colonies; plus great for spotting sea lions and land iguanas