There are seven vegetation zones on the Galapagos Islands, each at a different height. Vegetation zones are a way to classify environments that attract different plants and animals. Here is a short assessment of the zones and a few of the plants you can expect to see in each of the zones.


THE COASTAL ZONE. - Along the shore line 50m to 100m inland. It is not very wide and the vegetation here is influenced greatly by the presence of salt. It is significantly evergreen.
red, white, black and button mangroves
sea grass, dessert plum, and the saltbush Cryptocarpus


THE ARID ZONE – Habitat, and breeding area for many animal species. It is a semi-desert forest dominated by trees and shrubs. The most wide-ranging vegetation zone.
Lichens, Palo santo tree and the opuntia cactus


THE TRANSITIONAL ZONE – The zone between dry and moist zone. The forest here is mainly deciduous like the arid zone but is much denser and varied
Guayabilo tree, pega pega tree, matazarno tree, candelabra cactus and the giant prickly pear cactus


SCALESIA ZONE – 180m up. First of the moist zones. Cloud forest densely wooded. Only found on the higher islands. It is the richest zone in soil fertility and productivity, and has been mistreated for farming and cattle purposes
Orchids, ferns, scalesia pedunculata and vines


BROWN ZONE –. The trees are heavily draped with mosses, which make this zone look brown during the dry season. Farming and goats have ruined most of this zone
Cats claw


MICONIA ZONE –Dense shrubbery. Between 400m and 500m only found on the southern slopes of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal
Miconia robinsoniana, baccharis, hyptis, and the quinine tree imported to the islands but now completely taking over


PAMPA ZONE – Like the Miconia zone, only found on the southern slopes of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. No trees or shrubs, largely ferns and grasses. The wettest, and highest of all the zones.
Mosses, grasses, ferns, lichens and 4 types of orchid