The different colors of sand on the Galapagos’ beaches

Feb 16, 2018

Variation is a word closely associated with the Galapagos Islands – from the numerous different finch species that so enthralled Charles Darwin they inspired him to create his theory of evolution, to the many different sub-species of giant tortoises found on each island. Then, of course, there is the marine life, with the differing seasons influencing the waters that surround the archipelago. With unique animals like the blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas in abundance, this is a place that very much celebrates variety.

However, It’s not just the animal life that exhibits incredible variety. The landscapes on the Galapagos are like no other in the world, combining volcanic fury with stunning beauty. Galapagos Islands tourist attractions such as the lava tunnels and colossal calderas provide an insight into the volatile nature of this place. But it’s perhaps the sand that offers the most visible variety in Galapagos landscapes.

Across the archipelago, there are many different colors of sand found on the beautiful beaches. However, rather than ranging from a golden hue to a pristine white, the Galapagos is, as always, a little different. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of colors you can expect to find.
 

Green Sand 

In the Galapagos Islands Punta Cormorant territory you’ll find one of the world’s very few green sandy beaches. The only others that can rival it are in Pu’u Mahana, Hawaii and in Guam. The green sand is composed primarily of olivine crystals, which erode out of the basalt lava flows. As they are heavier than normal sand particles, they remain behind when other sand is washed away, creating a unique green color.

Red Sand

Found on Rabida Island, the sand gets its unique colors from the crumbling cinder found around the beach, which is composed mostly of iron. It’s a very striking natural phenomenon and one of the main Galapagos Islands tourist attractions.

Black Sand

There are a number of black sand beaches around the world, often found in volcanic areas. In the Galapagos, the black sand of James Bay on Santiago is one of the world’s best examples of this strange phenomenon. It creates a very dramatic landscape, especially when combined with the abundant wildlife found there.

Of course, the white and golden sands are also Galapagos Islands tourist attractions, adding to the beauty of these incredible islands. Take a Galapagos cruise aboard vessels like the Eden yacht, and you can get to see all these colored sands in one unforgettable holiday.
 

Take a look of these tour programs:

1. Galapagos Cruise Itinerary: Amazing Nine Days East & Central Islands Boat Journey
2. Cusco Tour: Cusco and Sacred Valley Tour
3. Inca Trails Tour: The Incas Trail Tour
4. Amazon River Cuise in Ecuador:  Amazon River Cruise Journey
5. Galapagos & Machu Picchu Tour: Galapagos & Machu Picchu 12 Days Voyage

Andre Robles
Andre Robles
Andre Robles is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first
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