(Chinese Hat). Small Islet located on the southeast of Santiago Island

Less than a quarter of a square kilometer in size, the tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance, which is that of a Chinese hat. Sitting just off the southeastern tip of Santiago, this fairly recently formed island makes for a pleasant visit as the island itself is quite beautiful and is definitely worth a trip.

One thing that needs to be kept in mind about visiting here is that the Galapagos National Park Service has placed strict restrictions on the number of visitors to the island. Only multi-day cruises with 12 passengers or less than 12 passengers are permitted to land here. This means that in reality not many people get the chance to explore this tiny island, even though it is so centrally located.

Sombrero china has abeautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach, which is the home thousands of sally lightfoot crabs and sea lions. The trail on Sombrero Chino's explores its volcanic origin. The lava rock is fragile and tends to break off when walked upon. Good shoes are a necessity when visiting this island because of the sharp outcroppings caused from the breaks created from walking on the island. Patches of pahoehoe lava, cracked lava and lava tubes can be found on the island. The trail offers some spectacular views of the waves breaking below. The snorkeling can be exciting here with penguins and seal lions, and possibly white-tipped sharks.

Activities: PR = Panga Ride, HK = Hiking, SN = Snorkeling

Location: A few hundred metres off the east coast of Santiago

Facilities: none, wet landing.

Photo opportunities: pelicans, penguins, sea lions, and blue footed boobies.

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