Sombrero Chino, Galapagos Islands
Less than a quarter of a square kilometer in size, the tiny island of Sombrero Chino gets its name from its appearance, which is that of a Chinese hat. Sitting just off the southeastern tip of Isla San Salvador, this fairly recently formed island makes for a pleasant visit as the island itself is quite beautiful and is definitely worth a trip.
One thing that needs to be kept in mind about visiting here is that the Galapagos National Park Service has placed strict restrictions on the number of visitors to the island. Only multi-day cruises with 12 passengers or less than 12 passengers are permitted to land here. This means that in reality not many people get the chance to explore this tiny island, even though it is so centrally located.
To truly appreciate the shape of this island, visit the northern end of Sombrero Chino. Here there is a tiny sea lion colony on the north shore cove, where one can anchor their boats and land. Galapagos penguins can also be found swimming here sometimes.
Follow the trail around the cove and you will catch a glimpse of American oystercatchers in action, along with marine iguanas, lava lizards and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Starting from a crescent-shaped white sandy beach, this 400 meter long trail provides some wonderful landscapes to view. There are also some good swimming and snorkeling opportunities in the cove area amidst white-tipped reef sharks and tropical fish.