Pinta is the northernmost of the main Galapagos group, some 28 miles (45 kilometers) northwest of Marchena (Wolf and Darwin are much further north). It is the ninth largest of the islands with an area of 23 square miles (60 square kilometers), reaching 2,550 feet (777 meters) above sea level.
Pinta is relatively rugged and is famous as the original home of Lonesome George, the last remaining survivor of the island's race of tortoises. Due to whaling ships and buccaneers, the tortoise population was virtually destroyed leaving only one Pinta Tortoise in this world. Lonesome George was discovered in 1971 and was removed to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz where scientists hoped to find him a mate for years, but it seems that George is destined to live life as a bachelor. When he goes, so does his race. Now we are more conscientious about the environment, but due to a careless past, another animal will become extinct. We can now visit Lonely George at the Charles Darwin Research station on Santa Cruz Island.
Pinta is named after one of Columbus' ships whereas the English name was in honor of Earl Abingdon.
|Area:||23 square miles (60 square kilometers)|
|Maximum Altitude:||2,550 feet (777 meters)|
|Geographic Features:||Calderas with hot lava, coral beaches, natural step formations.|
|Getting Around:||No visitors allowed on the island.|
|Major Sites:||None - the island is off-limits.|
|Flora:||Croton bushes, Lava Cactus, Palo Santo, Muyuyo forest, Salt brush.|
|Fauna:||Boobies, Frigates, Storm Petrels, Tropic Birds, Sea Lions, Hammerhead Sharks, Short- eared Owls.|
|Activities:||Snorkeling, scuba diving, tours around the island (land is off limits).|