Isla Santa María Travel Guide: 33 reviews and 210 photos


FLOREANA ISLAND Also known as Santa Maria Island.
The island was named after Juan Jose Flores the first President of Equador. Who ,renamed the Island again after it was originally called Charles Island .,named after the British king.
These Islands individually are just so different mainly with the wildlife and birdlife that is found here. Every Island is a new experience and birdwatchers and ornithologists find it wonderfully enjoyably different. The many different birds to be found here are the beautiful Tropic bird ,the beautiful Pink flamingoes, many different sea birds,sweeping across the tops of the waves hunting the sea for the next meal..
I noticed most of the Islands were dry and with little vegetation due to the (I was told exceptionally dry spell) .."El Nino" so much overgrazing of feral animals.This puts the native animals much at risk especially in the dry seasons. Many whaling ships stopped at Floreana ,still then known as Charles Island when a wayward sailor from the Nantucket whaler "Essex" set the Island on fire..
A year later of this event and on the morning of November 20th 1820 this vessel The Nantucket whaler "Essex" was rammed sunk far out at sea by an enraged sperm whale. See the Book "The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex". This tells the tale of the few survivors of the Essex and of an ordeal in open ocean of ninety days of deprivation and suffering.


September of 1835 saw the arrival of the HMS Beagle bring Charles Darwin back to for his second visit to Charles Island as it was still known then. He went about collecting all the different animals,birds, Insects and reptiles he could find. He was especially interested in the different tortoises. Early in 1929 some German immigrants moved to the Island and a small settlement steadily grew this proved to be quite devistating for the local wildlife.
Though being quite flat Floreana Island had a very good water supply along with a good source of animals and plants this attracted the many whaling ships ,who stopped here to replenish their supplies. This also saw the deletion of many tortoise numbers that were taken aboard for fresh meat.

Post Office Bay finds this amazing Post box..Sailors from various yachts and boats that are visiting the Island leave unstamped letters in the Rum barrell that is found here and then they are picked up by anyone going to the addressed city for delivery by hand. This has been a tradition for over 200 years years and today this still is in operation with visiting tourists and sailors dropping cards and letters into the barrell in hope of the message getting delivered.
Another popular point of interest here is for divers to see is "The Devils Crown" This is an underwater volcanic cone extremely popular with snorkellers and divers to swim with sea lions ,sharks , rays and many various reef fish. Not being a great swimmer I was put off by the sea lions that were just darting allover the place and it seemed a little "dodgy" for me. I also visited Punta Cormorant where on the beach there were many sea lions with newly born pups and then a short walk to a lagoon with many beautiful pink flamingoes ..The photography oportunities here are unlimited.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:another amazing island in this archipeligo
  • Cons:not enough time once again..
  • Intro Updated Nov 24, 2011
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (1)



“by leaps and bounds the kangaroo gets to where he is going..”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 3 5 2
Forum Rank:
0 0 5 0 3

Badges & Stats in Isla Santa María

  • 1 Reviews
  • 8 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 136PageViews

Have you been to Isla Santa María?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)