Chinese Hat ("Sombrero Chino" to locals) is an islet set just a short distance off the southeastern coast of Santiago. The small channel between Chinese Hat and mainland Santiago is fairly deep yet sheltered and the water here is a glistening turquoise.
The islet gets its name because if you approach from the north you will see that this small volcanic cone does indeed look like the traditional bamboo or rice hat. Viewed from above on a satellite image, however, you will see that this islet is actually more of an oval shape.
There is a short hiking trail on Chinese Hat that runs along the western coast of the islet. This is a harsh landscape of volcanic rubble and lava formations, a very atmospheric reminder of the fiery origins of the Galapagos.
Along the cost of both Chinese Hat and the opposite Santiago shore you are likely to see Galapagos Sea Lions and Galapagos Penguins, either basking in the sun or seeking shade to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Overhead you might catch a glimpse of the magnificent Galapagos Hawk.
The stand-out reason for a visit to Chinese Hat however is to snorkel in that turquoise channel. Here you can see various species of sharks, rays, and a variety of tropical fish. Not all Galapagos boats can visit, and permits are only given to a select few boats and guides. Here at Galapatours we offer itineraries on all of these specially selected boats, so if a visit to Chinese Hat is important to you, speak to one of our Galapagos experts today to help choose the perfect itinerary.
Photos of Chinese Hat
Highlights at Chinese Hat
- Snorkeling in the turquoise water
- Walk over a barren volcanic landscape
Possible Activities on Chinese Hat