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Sombrero Chino

Sombrero Chino, or Chinese Hat, gets its name from its appearance: a yellowish, nearly perfect flat cone like hats worn in parts of Asia. Located off the southeastern tip of Santiago, Chinese Hat is a fairly recent volcanic cone with a few small but intact lava tunnels.

The 400-meter trail starts on a small, white-sand beach, where you can often see American oystercatchers and sea lions. The trail continues along the cove, passing marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and lava lizards. The trail is a good [lace to observe different lava formations: ask your guide for details.

 If you visit during the cold season (May/June-November/December), the island may have some small tide pools lined with green algae, which attract more marine iguanas. From the beach you can swim in tranquil blue waters along the cove, playing with sea lions and spotting tropical fish.

Sombrero Chino is considered a fragile visitor site, and only certain cruise ships (those which don’t carry many passengers) are allowed to go there: if you want to include Sombrero Chino in your itinerary, be sure to sign up with one of the cruise ships that go there.

Trail Difficulty: 2/5 Trail gets rough in places, so bring good walking shoes.

Highly Likely to See:

  • Sea Lions
  • Marine Iguanas
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs

Probable to See:

  • Lava Lizards

Possible to see

  • Galapagos Hawk
  • Penguins (while snorkeling)
  • Rays (while Snorkeling)
  • White-tipped Reef Shark (while snorkeling)

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Galápagos Island Visitor Sites: Bartolomé, León Dormido/Kicker Rock, San Cristóbal, Darwin & Wolf, Marchena, South Plaza, Rábida, Santiago, Other Visitor Sites on Santa Cruz and Western Island Visitor Sites.








25 Aug 2010




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