"On Chinese Hat" Isla Sombrero Chino by toonsarah

Isla Sombrero Chino Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 92 photos

Sombrero Chino seen from the Angelito as we left

Sombrero Chino takes its name from its appearance – the profile of the island when viewed from the sea is very like a hat. It lies just off the south east coast of Santiago. But although it is so centrally located in the Galápagos archipelago, it is one of the least visited sites. The Galápagos National Park Service restricts the number of visitors allowed here, because of its small size and the fragility of its lava rocks.

This was the second island we visited on Galápagos cruise on the Angelito. Early in the morning after our first night at sea, at about 4.00, the Angelito left the sheltered spot where she had been anchored and headed here, arriving at 6.20. After an early breakfast we landed on the island, after a short cruise in the dinghies along the shore of nearby Santiago.

The trail here is short and easy-going, with a wet landing on a small white sand beach, where the first sight that greeted us was a mother sea lion and her newborn pup, which Fabian estimated was just a few hours old. There were quite a few other mothers and babies too, and we spent some time enjoying observing and photographing them.

We then followed the trail past lots of Sally Lightfoot crabs, with their distinctive red and pale blue colouring, and then crossed some lava rocks to a point where the waves were crashing against it. Here there were more crabs and some lava lizards. We then returned the way we had come, and back to the boat, as it was time for our first snorkelling trip off nearby Santiago.

This is one of a series of pages about the various islands we visited on our Galápagos cruise. In those individual island pages I aim to describe in more detail what we did on each island, the environment and landscape, and the wildlife to be found there. But for detailed descriptions of the animals and plants etc I have included links to my main Galápagos page, rather than repeat myself too much here.

To follow our trail here as we experienced it, please read my tips in order, starting with our landing.

And when you have finished your visit to Sombrero Chino, do continue to the next island on our itinerary, Bartolomé

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:One of the less visited of Galápagos Islands, so a bit of an “exclusive”!
  • Intro Updated Dec 31, 2012
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (3)

Comments (4)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    How lovely having an Island to yourself. Love the Sealions and their pups. I am so envious of you, guess I will just have to read and enjoy your pages, as I doubt I will ever see this for myself.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Jan 10, 2013 at 4:08 AM

      Glad you're enjoying the tour Dee. To be honest, it's something I thought I would never see, but you never know what might be possible in the future!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Still smiling when I read the name Sally Lightfoot :-)) And such cute little pups...

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    The Sea Lion pups are so cute, and the Sally Lightfoot crabs look very beautiful against the black lave rock!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I found it interesting to read about how the Sally Lightfoot crabs discard their shells. And about how vulnerable they are until their new shell hardens in the air.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 18, 2012 at 3:07 AM

      Thank you for visiting this and my North Seymour page Don - I'm so pleased you're enjoying my Galapagos adventures :-)


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 0 7
Forum Rank:
0 0 0 6 3

Badges & Stats in Isla Sombrero Chino

  • 3 Reviews
  • 13 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 187PageViews

Have you been to Isla Sombrero Chino?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Isla Sombrero Chino

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (12)