This island is called Kicker Rock. It’s the remains of an old volcano near San Cristobal island

Like the much bigger islands of Hawaii, these islands are here because they are the tops of giant volcanoes sticking out of the Pacific Ocean. So their landscape can be weird and unfriendly: lava flows and huge deep volcanic craters. (You can see both of these on the island map at the bottom of my introduction page.)

Although these volcanoes make this unfriendly landscape, life still manages to take a hold. And over time, the lava flows break down into soils and special types of plant like cactuses begin to grow on them. Cactus can survive heat and dryness. Eventually, the old lavas get covered with trees and shrubs and animals like the reptiles you’ve seen can live there.

When the lava flows are new, they are very nasty to walk on because they’re often broken up into blocks and are called ‘block lava’ (or ‘aa’ in Hawaii where there are similar, even bigger, volcanoes). Other lava types look like coils of rope and so are called ‘ropy lava’ (‘pahoehoe’ in Hawaiian).

Here’s my final slideshow

TikiI hope you’ve enjoyed your visit with me to these special islands. I’m sorry to have to say that many of the islands’ animals and plants are in danger (have you seen my Guide about Life in Danger?). You can find out why here. One of the greatest threats is, sadly, the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the islands. Yes, I’m sad about this because it’s a wonderful place to visit and the visitors mostly end up with a much greater interest in caring for our planet, its life and wonderful places which is great! Yet by visiting, they unintentionally cause more damage to the islands and their endangered wildlife.
That’s why I’ve made these pages, you see. You don’t have to go there to be able to see something of the islands and their wildlife.

But you can do better than my stuff (I have to admit!): try this YouTube video as a ‘taster’ from the brilliant BBC documentary about the islands. Watch this and you’ll see more than you could ever see if you visited the islands as a tourist. And you make no pollution from flying there either.