Floreana, Charles, or Santa Maria, those are the three names given to this Island by different people who came to Galapagos at various times. The official name is Floreana, after the first president of Ecuador, who allowed General Jose de Villamil to annex the islands in 1832. Floreana was a favorite stop for sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries who came for fresh water to drink and for giant tortoises to eat. Among those visitors was Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle in September 1835. Floreana was the first capital of Galapagos and the first to be colonized, partially for use as a penal colony. The island would continue to attract colorful characters, such as the Baroness and Dr. Richter who arrived in 1934, hoping to start a utopian community away from the difficulties of life in Europe at the time. In Floreana, they made a fresh start but unfortunately, things ended on a tragic note. The story has been chronicled in books and movies. More interesting to us is the beauty and biodiversity of Floreana. There is much to see, such as the Post Office barrel that once served as an informal mail service, and so much to do, including kayaking, snorkeling, and walking on the beach. Something for everyone.