Iconic Landmarks You Don’t Want to Miss While in the Galapagos Islands

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Wildlife has always been one of the main highlights in the Galapagos. While we agree you should spend your time in search of the Galapagos Tortoise and swimming with the penguins, we don’t want you to miss the one-of-a-kind landscape the Islands hold. Specifically three stunning iconic formations: Pinnacle Rock, Kicker Rock and Darwin’s Arch.

Pinnacle Rock


One of the most recognizable and photographed landmarks in the islands is Pinnacle Rock. It was formed by an eruption from an underwater volcano that has eroded over the years to form its iconic shape. Pinnacle Rock is the remains of an eroded tuff cone, tuff is a form of compacted volcanic ash, usually found near the coast.

The two beaches next to Pinnacle rock are beautiful and popular snorkeling sites to explore the wildlife. After you’ve seen the rock up close, we suggest climbing to the summit of Bartolome Island so you can see breathtaking views of Pinnacle rock from afar.

Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock)

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When viewed from the south this rock appears to be a sleeping lion, which is where the Spanish name Leon Dormido comes from, translated to “sleeping lion”. If you look from a different angle it is said to look like a boot, hence the English name for this rock, Kicker Rock. You will find Leon Dormido an hour off the coast of San Cristobal Island.

The rocky cliffs extend underwater and are surrounded by wildlife. The mild current between the two rocks attracts an abundance of wildlife. Galapagos sharks, rays, turtles and sea lions all frequent this rock. Above ground the rock is a nesting place for hundreds of frigate birds and blue footed boobies you can watch from your yacht

Our Itinerary A visits Leon Dormido

See Leon Dormido for yourself on Google Streetview:

kicker rock in the Galapagos

Darwin’s Arch

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The stone arch formation known as Darwin’s Arch is one of the most well known dive sites in the world to see the big wildlife. In one dive you will be in awe of the massive whale sharks, the large school of hammerheads, the Galapagos sharks, tiger sharks and eagle rays that will swim by you, all in one dive!

The arch itself is home to many endemic birds and Darwin Island is the only island in the Galapagos where the Sooty Tern breeds.

The Eric, Letty or Flamingo don’t visit Darwin’s Arch on either of their Itineraries, but M/V Galapagos Sky, our dedicated dive live-aboard does every week.