Post Office Bay, Floreana Island got its name from its unique postal system that operates from this point in the Galapagos Islands. Historical records show that the British left a wooden barrel on Floreana at the bay in the late 18 th century, and this began being used for mail (more on this below). The island is named after the unusual mailing process that came about from this time. Here we will explain everything you need to know about visiting Post Office Bay in the Galapagos Islands. We will cover what you can do at this visitor site, when to visit, the wildlife you may see here, and how to get here. We will also offer our own Insider recommendations for visiting this site.
One of the most interesting things to do at Post Office Bay is to observe the unusual postal system here, or even to participate in it. Letters and postcards posted in the barrel at Post Office Bay are collected by those passing by who are heading in the same direction as the mail and posted onto the recipient. Today, those visiting the island continue the tradition of collecting letters and post cards and taking them back to their home town or area for delivery. You can even leave your own letters and postcards here – though don’t expect them to get back particularly quickly. While today this is a fun activity, in centuries past it was a helpful means by which those travelling on whaling ships or for other purposes could communicate back to their families.
At this visitor site it is also possible to take a walk along the short trail. This is interesting because it heads inward on the island towards a lava tube.
Some visitors will be offered a dinghy ride around the bay by their cruise or tour operator. You might also want to spend some time relaxing on the beach.
Finally, don’t be surprised if your crew want you to join in playing a football game here at Post Office Bay. This is a typical place where boat crew like to let off steam. You might find yourself in a crew versus visitors match!
You can expect a wet landing at Post Office Bay, though this is not considered to be particularly challenging.
Post Office Bay is accessible via some Galapagos Islands cruises, and can be visited by those on Galapagos land-based trips. It is worth noting that not all cruises in the archipelago will visit Post Office Bay on Floreana Island. This spot is typically visited by those cruise itineraries going to Floreana Island, but not always. This means it is definitely worth confirming this point with us when booking, as we are Galapagos Islands experts, and can find this out for you. You can take a day trip from Santa Cruz Island, or you might even stay at Floreana Island (though not at Post Office Bay itself). You can also visit from San Cristobal Island.
The good news for a visit to Post Office Bay is that any time of year is good to go there. There is little difference at this visitor spot between the seasons, and the wildlife is much the same the whole year around too. One small point worth noting is that in the drier, cooler season between June and September, the currents are somewhat stronger, and the seas a little rougher. However, while this might be off putting to some, it will be appealing to others, because the Humboldt current visits the islands during this period. This brings nutrient rich waters, and an abundance of wildlife that feeds on these food sources.
Unlike other Galapagos visitor sites, the main purpose of a visit to Post Office Bay on Floreana Island is not necessarily to see the wildlife, but rather, to learn about the strange postal system that operates here. Nonetheless, you may get to see some wildlife too on your visit here. In the water you may get to see sharks, rays and turtles. Sea lions may also be found on the beach or swimming in the waters around the bay.
Our main Insider recommendation for your time at Post Office Bay is to ask your guide about the Galapagos Affair. This is an interesting story from history which includes love, murder and intrigue. If you want to make sure that Post Office Bay is included in your Galapagos Islands cruise, be sure to check your itinerary carefully, as not all boats stop at Floreana, and of those, not all stop at Post Office Bay. Don’t forget a torch for your visit to the lava tunnel. We are Galapagos Islands experts and we can help you book your once in a lifetime trip to the archipelago. Why not contact us today to find out how easy it is to arrange your trip.