Adventure Cruises in Sullivan Bay

Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island is renowned for its geological value to the scientific community and the tourists who visit it. It holds a special place in history as the second of the Galapagos Islands visited by Charles Darwin.

Guests are invited to walk the hour-and-a-half path from the visitor’s center through the bay to marvel at the volcanic landscape created by long cooled lava flows from 1897. The formations underfoot simulate the waves in the sea and join together in both rope-like structures and rusty colored tuff cones.

Wildlife encounters at Sullivan Bay include the usual suspects in Galapagos, including boobies, tropical fish, and reptiles for which the islands are famous. This site is prized primarily for its unusual appearance and landscape, however rather than abundant animal life.

The white sand beach is a glorious visual contrast to the edge of the lava stream it borders. No adventure cruise to Sullivan Bay would be complete without swimming or snorkeling in the clear blue Pacific waters.

Top things to do and see at Sullivan Bay

Most guests visit Sullivan Bay to see the landscape and take the hour and a half hike over the plumes and pahoehoes created by flowing lava so many years ago. Hikers will appreciate the local vegetation including Molluga plants and the incredible view of the volcano that made the island itself.

After the hike it’s time for a swim or snorkel in the lava cape at Sullivan Bay. The setting makes the perfect photograph with the blue water, white sand beach, and dark volcanic landscape.

Top Tips for visiting Sullivan Bay

  • To get the most out of your trip to Sullivan Bay, here are some helpful tips.
  • Be sure you have some sun protection like sunblock or clothing that covers your skin. It’s important to be able to limit your sun exposure as necessary.
  • You’ll want some sturdy, adequate shoes for walking or hiking around Sullivan Bay. Blisters are not a part of this vacation. Bring along some water shoes as well for snorkeling.
  • To capture your Sullivan Bay wildlife encounters or a visual keepsake of the bay itself, bring a camera along. If you want to use a mobile device off of the ship, we recommend you protect it with a water tight sleeve and a dry bag during transport.
  • Visitors who want to scuba dive will have access to complimentary tanks, weights, and belts. If you have other equipment for scuba like a mask, you can bring it along or rent whatever you need onboard.

Best time to cruise to Sullivan Bay

To plan ahead for your small ship cruise to Sullivan Bay it helps to understand the seasons in Galapagos. This way, you can pick perfect weather for snorkeling and other adventure activities like hiking.

Sullivan Bay in December through May experiences the warm or wet season. June through November is the dry season. Hiking is best in the warm season. There are long blocks of daily sun and the climate is warm and inviting. The dry season from June through November is prime snorkeling season in Sullivan Bay. The blue water is at its clearest and water temperatures are warm.

If a Sullivan Bay wildlife encounter is your travel wish, you’re in luck. The land and sea creatures that call Sullivan Bay home are present year round regardless of the season. The animals aren’t as plentiful as in some other areas of Galapagos, however. It may be helpful to know that the area’s Green Sea Turtles lay their eggs from January to March. The Blue Footed Boobies, on the other hand, mate in May.

Where do Sullivan Bay cruises depart from?

Galapagos Island adventure cruises to Sullivan Bay depart from ports in Baltra, Puerto Ayora, or San Cristobal. Your specific cruise itinerary will confirm your departure port.

First, you’ll arrive in either Quito or Guayaquil airports on Mainland Ecuador. Thereafter, you will fly domestic to the Galapagos Islands as directed by your cruise itinerary. Your guides will escort you and your luggage to the ship to begin your Sullivan Bay vacation.

Want to book your next adventure cruise to the Galapagos Islands? Contact our reservations team today.

Sullivan Bay Reviews

  • 9.2 Superb
  • 7 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nancy T
  • United States United States

Snorkeling with a penguin and white tip sharks. Excellent! But sad to see so much trash in the water.

Cruising Sullivan Bay in March on the EcoGalaxy

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Michael S
  • United States United States

Nice hike on the lava fields

Cruising Sullivan Bay in October on the Nemo III

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Hassan A
  • United States United States

Beautiful beach, snorkeling was fun

Cruising Sullivan Bay in January on the Natural Paradise

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Rebecca B
  • United States United States

the Sullivan bay snorkel was one of the best and a great start to the trip

Cruising Sullivan Bay in October on the Endemic

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Roger B
  • United States United States

Hike was enjoyable. Lava river was worth seeing

Cruising Sullivan Bay in May on the EcoGalaxy

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Sarah A
  • Switzerland Switzerland

First we were cruising with the zodiacs around the cost and then we had a beautiful walk on the new island on the lava. Great sunset. Highlight -> Rock formations and very few fauna.

Cruising Sullivan Bay in July on the Endemic

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Charles L
  • Canada Canada

Sullivan Bay is a great lava field hike and wonderful snorkel of a cliff wall where we saw more sharks and rays.

Cruising Sullivan Bay in February on the Nemo II