Floreana is a bird lover’s paradise. It was the first of the Galapagos islands to be settled and has a rich human history. With a little over 100 inhabitants, Floreana isn’t well known for its nightlife, but there is plenty to see and do. For the land-lovers, there are excellent bird-watching opportunities. Numerous hiking trails meander through the highlands and wander around early historical sites on the island. For the sea-lovers, the surrounding waters are teeming with marine life and provide for excellent snorkeling.
Off the coast of Floreana, Devil’s Crown is a volcanic crater that has been eroded away by the waves, with a few rocky spikes protruding above the water in a semicircular pattern. Inside the crown, snorkelers find an underwater oasis of coral reefs and the marine species that are attracted to them, such as playful sea lions, colorful King Angel fish, Balloon fish, hawkfish, Yellowtail grunts, Tiger Snake eels, White-tipped sharks, Eagle rays, amberjacks, wrasses, Hammerhead sharks, and sea turtles. The rocky remains of the volcano create a haven for seabirds such as boobies, pelicans, and frigatebirds. Red-billed Tropicbirds nest in the crevices. The water is a bit rough and the current is strong. Strong swimmers can swim through a tube on the western side (approximately 4-5 m down) and come out on the other side.
Post Office Bay is one of the few visitor sites in Galapagos where human history is the main focus. A group of whalers placed a wooden barrel here in 1793 and called it a post office. Traveling seamen would leave addressed letters in the barrel and hope that the next seamen to come along might be headed in the direction of their letters’ destinations. Today, visitors leave their own postcards and sift through the current pile.
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