Urbina Bay, Galapagos

Visit the arid zone, and a recent land uplift

Urbina Bay, Galapagos
  • Fauna abundance

  • Striking vistas

  • Beach quality

  • Difficulty

  • Snorkeling Quality


Urbina Bay is one of the youngest features in the Galapagos. It was mainly formed in 1954, when a sudden uplift of the land raised the seabed by over 5 metres, and pushed the coastline over 1km further away. This has resulted in the astonishing site of heads of coral stranded far from the water. Exposed to the air and elements, the coral heads are rapidly deteriorating and are one of the sights of the Galapagos that won't be around for much longer.

Once ashore, a long hiking trail will take you away from the beach and into the island's arid zone. In this habitat you are likely to see wild Galapagos Giant Tortoises and Galapagos Land Iguanas. As the trail circles back towards the shore line you'll come across colonies of the unique Galapagos Flightless Cormorant.

This is a pleasant area for snorkeling, and as you enter and leave the water you might do so watched by some Galapagos Penguins, who have a colony nearby.  This is also one of the best sites to see Galapagos Marine Iguanas feeding undewater.

Photos of Urbina Bay

Highlights at Urbina Bay

  • Stranded coral, from the uplift in 1954
  • Giant tortoises and land iguanas
  • Snorkeling in the Bay with Galapagos Marine Iguanas

Possible Activities

Hiking, Snorkeling

Map of Urbina Bay

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Our cruises that include Urbina Bay