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The volcanic island of Floreana (also Santa Maria or Charles Island) is one of the southernmost in the Galapagos. The island has central volcanic craters reaching 1,800 ft (550 m) high and sloping green hills leading to a sandy shore. The area is rich in wildlife such as sea lions, brown pelicans, flamingos, Darwin finches, and interesting vegetation. At Punta Cormorant at an olivine-crystal beach there is an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers may be observed.
With its crystal clear waters, and shallow coastal platforms, it sustains a rich variety of unique tropical marine life including green sea turtles. An offshore island known as Devil's Crown is the summit of a submerged volcanic cone; tropicbirds and noddy terns nest here, and the snorkeling can be excellent (currents permitting).
It was a particular favourite of the British whalers who used the island as a postal station and resupply port. Sailors would leave their letters in large wooden barrels and ships going back to England would take their mail with them. Sailors arriving from Britain would leave barrels filled with correspondence and those calling on the island would forage until their long-awaited letters from home were found. Today, yachtsmen leave their letters in barrels located there, largely due to tradition rather than the reliability of the post. This area, located on the northern part of the island, is consequently known as "Post Office Bay". There is also a more "normal" post office as well as a small settlement located on the western portion of the island.
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