Sullivan Bay

Sullivan Bay

Santiago Island

This fascinating volcanic site was named after Bartholomew James Sullivan, the first lieutenant on HMS Beagle, the ship that brought Charles Darwin to the Galapagos.

The site features a pair of eroded scoria lava cones which were recently engulfed by pahohehoe lava. This recent (in geological terms) pahohehoe lava flow is considered one of the finest in the world.

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There are easy to spot tuff cones, miniature spatter cones, and the imprints of tree branches in the once molten rock all over the island. Though the lava flow is over 170 years old, it looks much more recent because of its isolation on the island.

Pioneer plants such as Brachycereus cactus and the endemic herb Mollugo are starting to colonize the dark grey rocks and lava, preparing the way for other plant species.   

Although a dry landing is usually made at this site, a wet landing may be necessary due to turbulent seas.