The island consists of two overlapping volcanoes. The volcano in the island's southwest erupted along a linear fissure, and is much lower. The oldest lava (ropy lava) flows on the island date back to 750,000 years ago.
Santiago has a long human history as well as some outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing. Marine iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, land and sea turtles, flamingos, dolphins and sharks are found here. Pigs and goats, which were introduced by humans to the islands and have caused great harm to the endemic species; those have been eradicated.
James Bay (Puerto Egas) has a black beach with eroded rock formations in the background.
Buccaneer Cove was a heaven for pirates during the 1600s and 1700s. Espumilla Beach allows swimming and snorkeling. Around, you’ll find a mangrove forest, lagoon with flamingos, nesting sea turtles and others.
In the coastal trail of the island we find the abandoned Salt Mines which were a monopoly that belonged to the government of Ecuador in 1963. The salt was extracted and sold on the mainland till the establishment of the law of free development industries in the country.