James Bay

James Bay

A large sheltered bay on the northwest of Santiago

Information about James Bay

Beach Quality

Difficulty/accesibility

Biodiversity

Strinking views

Snorqel Quality

James Bay (named after King James of England) is a large and sheltered bay on the northwestern coast of Santiago (previously known as James Island). Charles Darwin writes about his visit to James Bay as he made landfall on Santiago here during his famous voyage on the Beagle.

This wide bay has three visitor sites, one at Espumilla Beach on the northern side of the bay, and two that are accessed from Puerto Egas on the southern side.

A popular destination for most cruises, the waters of the beaches here are good for snorkeling, and the inland sites have a good variety of bird life to explore.

Interesting facts about James Bay

Espumilla beach with flamingo lagoon

Puerto Egas with Fur Seal Grotto

Puerto Egas with Salt Mine Volcano

Pictures of James Bay

James Bay

Possible Activities in James Bay

hiking

Hiking

snorkeling

Snorkeling

Highlights Close to James Bay

Chinese Hat
Chinese Hat

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 Galápagos.

Along the cost of both Chinese Hat and the opposite Santiago shore you are likely to see Galápagos Sea Lions and Galápagos 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 Galápagos 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 Galápagos 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 Galápagos experts today to help choose the perfect itinerary.

Animals in James Bay

Our trips to James Bay

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