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Galapagos Archipelago, Santiago Island


Santiago also know as James Island is a large, somewhat barren island northwest of Santa Cruz with a mostly volcanic landscape. Its name is equivalent to Saint James in English; it is also known as San Salvador, after the first island discovered by Columbus in the Caribbean Sea.

Galapagos beach

This island has an area of 585 km² and a maximum altitude of 907 meters.

Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanos: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end. Suble differences in lava chemistry confirm that there are two volcanos here, and indicate that each has its own plumbing system and each taps a different melting zone in the mantle.

Galapagos sea lion

The shield reaches an elevation of 900 m (2975 feet) in an area north and west of the center of the island.

The northwest highlands also appear to be the oldest part of the island. Lavas from Santiago are as old as 750,000 years, based on K-Ar dating. Elevations on the southeast part of the island do not exceed 250 m (800 ft).

Marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks are found here. There are a large number of goats and pigs, animals which were introduced by humans to the islands and have caused great harm to the endemic species.

Darwin Finches and Galapagos Hawks are usually seen

Santiago Island tour
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Galapagos Islands tours
Galapagos Islands tortoise video
Galapagos Blue-Footed Booby video
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