Sombrero Chino Island Travel

Pristine sands, enchanting animals and sparkling waters await on the tiny Sombrero Chino Island.

Its name inspired by the Chinese Coolie Hat, due to its distinct shape, Sombrero Chino sits just off the coast of Santiago. Although small in comparison to some of the other islands it is still home to a host of wildlife including Lava Lizards, Marine Iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs, offering a peaceful place to stop for a few hours.

Made up of volcanic rock and sandy beaches, Sombrero Chino is great place to discover the endemic flora and fauna of the Galapagos. The island itself only covers a quarter of a square kilometre but has a trail covering several hundred metres that take you from the beach, past the lava fields – acting as a stark reminder of how this island came into being – and towards the coast where you will find crystal clear waters, inter-tidal pools and more dramatic, volcanic rock formations. The sea that surrounds this islet provides excellent snorkelling, thanks to the calm shallows of the cove. Majestic Sting Rays, White-tipped Reef Sharks and some Penguins can often be spotted here; Sombrero Chino is a little island with a lot to give.

Highlights of Sombrero Chino Island:

Sunbathe with the Sea Lions

Although there is no human population on Sombrero Chino, it is far from deserted – the island’s colony of Galapagos Sea Lions will happily share their beach with you. This endangered species is mesmerising to watch, even when they are simply lounging about on the sand.

Discover the tropical fish below the surface

A kaleidoscope of colours can be found off the shores of Sombrero Chino. While Sea Turtles and Sharks are the obvious draws in these waters, the smaller inhabitants are equally amazing. Delight in watching tiny, silvery fish darting in and out from the coral, while schools made up of bright blues and yellows cruise by. In waters so full of life, you can spend hours observing this fascinating world.

Spot some American Oystercatchers

Sombrero Chino is a prime spot for watching the American Oystercatchers go about their day. Easily distinguished, due to their white belly and long orange beak, these birds enjoy the rich pickings from rock pools scattered along the coast of the islet. Some of the nosier members of the flock may even approach you while on the lookout for their next meal, just in case you have what they would deem a delectable treat on you!

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