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BEST FOR… Wildlife, red sand, solitude

WHY GO? There’s only one landing site for wildlife cruisers on uninhabited Rabida and it happens to be at a maroon-coloured beach – a tint caused by high iron levels courtesy of its volcanic origins. It makes a striking, if surreal, backdrop to the basking sea lions.

WHAT TO DO: A stop here involves a wet landing on the sand; walk to the saltwater lagoon, where flamingos breed. Snorkel off the shore.

You can see marine iguanas and sea lions in the caves and brown pelicans in the salt brush.

WHILE YOU’RE THERE: A multi-day cruise with an expert naturalist is the way to see more of the archipelago. Not all boats visit Rabida – check your itinerary.

GET THERE: Rabida is 4.5km south of Santiago Island, only accessible by boat. Baltra island is serviced by flights from mainland Ecuador.

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