To ensure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the Galapagos Islands, travelers must pass through an airport inspection point and pay the park entrance fee of $100. Upon arrival, a guide will meet with you and assist you in collecting your luggage before accompanying you to the port of Puerto Ayora via taxi, where you will board the Yacht Darwin and be welcomed by the captain and crew.
El Chato is a trail that begins in Santa Rosa and is surrounded by tall grass, running along the boundaries of several farms. The trail can be muddy depending on the season, and the rocks can be slippery, so caution is advised. About 1 km from La Caseta, there is a water pool that is filled with tortoises during the rainy season. The road leading to the reserve is an excellent spot for observing land birds, including tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, Cattle Egrets, and occasionally Galapagos Rails.
Tintoreras is an islet situated to the south of Puerto Villamil, featuring a small bay with tranquil turquoise waters where visitors can observe a variety of sea creatures such as sea lions, sea turtles, marine iguanas, and rays. A shallow crystal-clear crevice connects to the bay and provides the opportunity to witness reef sharks, small fish, and sea lions swimming together. The trail throughout Tintoreras is mostly made up of lava AA, with the exception of two beaches; one covered in white sand and home to colonies of sea lions and a nesting site for marine iguanas during nesting season, and the other surrounded by button and white mangroves. Throughout the trail, one can also spot marine iguanas among the rocks or under the mangroves.
The Wetlands are a collection of trails that contain various sites, including the Cerro Orchilla lookout point accessible by a staircase, providing panoramic views of the bay, town of Puerto Villamil, Sierra Negra Volcano, Cerro Azul Volcano, islets, and rocks. El Estero is a path of lava rocks with a picnic area and the opportunity to see all four species of mangrove found in the Galapagos and a small majagual forest. La Poza Escondida is a stone and wood path leading to a mangrove forest and a pool at the end of the trail. Poza Redonda is a path of lava plates leading to a pool formed inside a collapsed lava tube. The Tunel del Estero is a lava plate path ending in a staircase inside a lava tunnel. Los Tunos Viewpoint and Pozas Verde offer several lookout points for observing birds and plants. La Playita leads to a small beach that is part of the larger beach in Villamil. The Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela is situated 1.5 km from Puerto Villamil, where populations from different areas have been bred in captivity, with 330 tortoises in total. The Breeding Center features gardens with native plant species such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pear, palo santo, lime prickly-ash, thorn shrub, Galapagos croton, Glorybower, sea island or creole cotton, Radiate-headed, yellow cordia, snowberry or milkberry, myrtle, nickerbean, and Darwin’s Daisy. The tortoises are fed with an Otoya plant diet and cachimuela three times a week, and they drink water from small artificial ponds in the corrals.
The location of the tourist attraction on Rábida Island is on the east coast and includes a red sand beach, a lagoon behind the beach, and a loop trail that is approximately 1.1 kilometers in distance. The rocks and sand on the beach are red due to porous volcanic material that has been oxidized by environmental factors such as rain, saltwater, and sea breeze. The highlight of this place is the red sand beach, the scenery, the arid vegetation, and the presence of unique species that are native to the island.
On Santa Cruz Island, Dragon Hill's visitor site is located in the northwest and features a trail that spans three different environments over a length of only 1,600 meters. Its name derives from the fact that it was one of the few places on the island where land iguanas were still thriving in 1975. The lagoons at this site are home to shrimp, which is also the main food of flamingos, resulting in larger populations of the bird during times of greater shrimp abundance. However, during rainy seasons, the lagoon water becomes too sweet, which causes a decline in shellfish populations and a scarcity of shorebirds.
Sombrero Chino is a small islet located off the southeast coast of Santiago that looks like a Chinese hat when viewed from a distance. It is composed of a cone-shaped "splatter" (lava that is thrown up and falls near its source, forming an inclined cone) at the summit and many lava tubes that extend down to the shore. On the west, one can observe pillow-type lava formations that indicate the flows were formed underwater and have since been lifted, resulting in the discovery of coral heads on the lava. This visit offers an excellent chance to learn about geological features such as lava flows and tubes. The round trip on the trail is 700 m, and it takes a minimum of thirty minutes to complete.
Black Turtle Cove is a mangrove estuary on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island that visitors can explore via a Panga ride with the engines off. The mangroves are home to many creatures, including rays, sea turtles, pelicans, and others.