Century-old, rope-like lava flows harbour tidal pools awash with life while sea-lions and marine iguanas bask in the sun. Santiago is a fascinating island that once provided safe harbour to pirates, buccaneers and salt-miners alike. Visitor sites include the natural, rocky pools and grottoes of Puerto Egas and the salt-water lagoon of Espumilla Bay which shelters flamingos, finches and Galapagos hawks. Just off the south-eastern tip of Santiago, the tiny volcanic cinder cone island of Sombrero Chino resembles a “Chinese hat” and is crusted with barren lava flows. The surrounding turquoise waters sparkle in the sun and offer excellent snorkelling amongst penguins, rays and tropical fish.