Buccaneer Cove, Galapagos

Historical pirate anchorage and seabird haven

Buccaneer Cove, Galapagos
  • Fauna abundance

  • Striking vistas

  • Beach quality

  • Difficulty

  • Snorkeling Quality


Sited on the northwest coast of Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove wasn't named as a romantic fancy, but because it actually was used extensively by pirates, privateers, buccaneers and whalers to set anchor and head ashore.

Of all the Galapagos Islands, Santiago was most frequently used as a stop over as it provided easy access to fresh water, wood, and meat. Used since the 1600s as a staging point, the easy-to-catch Giant Tortoises that lived here became a useful source of protein for the sailors. There was a more strenuous journey required up to the highlands in search of water, but the sheltered cove made this a better location than some of the more open coast elsewhere.

Today the steep cliffs above the cove are filled with nesting seabirds, wheeling in the air above the deep red sands of the beach. This is a good site for snorkeling or to stroll along the beach drinking in the sights and sounds of the Galapagos, and you will often find yourself sharing the sand and rocks with sea lions or Galapagos Fur Seals.

Photos of Buccaneer Cove

Highlights at Buccaneer Cove

  • A real "pirate" cove
  • Thousands of seabirds around the cliffs above
  • Snorkeling from the beach

Possible Activities

Snorkel, Panga ride, Kayaking

Map of Buccaneer Cove

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