Santa Cruz Island


The island of Santa Cruz has the most developed town in the Galápagos; almost every visitor to the islands spends at least some time here it’s a destination in itself, full of visitor sites, easily accessible beaches and remote highlands in the interior, and a base for adventurous activities far from the tourism trail. Most of the tours, navigable cruises and boats leave from the island to the different places of visit of the archipelago.


This island is a famous nesting area of birds, home to a large population of blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. It hosts one of the largest populations of magnificent frigatebirds and a slow growing population of the Galápagos land iguanas.



This small island is located on the centre of the archipelago, and on a clear day, more than ten islands can be spotted from the top of the viewpoint.

The Pinnacle Rock, is the most emblematic formation of the archipelago. On its base, a small colony of Penguins cohabit with Sea Lions and Marine Birds. On the visit site of the beach, one can observe juvenile sharks swimming along the shore line, and sometimes on the surroundings, a hawk domains the air.



One of the smallest and, depending on the season, most colorful islands. Find sea lion colonies, land and hybrid iguanas and countless birds soaring by the cliffs. The biggest Land Iguana population that can be visited. There is a big ecosystem formed of Cactus Opuntia that holds a population of Land Iguanas, the smallest ones of the archipelago. The trip around South Plaza allows the visitor see the whole population and to notice how this animals survived in this and other similar environments when they arrived and established. Rarely a hybrid of Marine and Land Iguana can be found on the trails.



Santa Fe Island is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago with some volcanic rocks over 4 million years old. Santa Fé is home to two species endemic to the island: the Barrington Land Iguana and the Santa Fe Rice Rat. Wander the beach with countless sea lions and hike through Opuntia Cactus trees looking for the Barrington Iguana.

Santa Fe is also home to a large Sea Lion nursery so is one of the best option to snorkeling with the Sea Lions



Pinzón Island is one of the few places in the Galapagos where you have the opportunity to swim face-yo-face with amazing animals like sea lions, white tip sharks, sea turttles and Galapagos penguis. In route to Pinzon you pass by Nameless Island, which is in the middle of a large Tuna run that often attracts sea birds and other wildlife.

With three spots of snorkeling is a complete marine tour that you never forget.



The Highlands of Santa Cruz island are probably the most visited area in the Galapagos due to their easy access. The giant Tortoises of Santa Cruz Island are on a constant migration from the fertile highlands to the drier seashores, making this the area that offers the best chance in the archipelago to observe this iconic animal in their natural habitat.

A stop at the twin craters Los Gemelos is one of the first sights on your highlands tour. You will visit some of the highlights of the ‘Parte Alta’ like Primicias ranch o El Chato ranch, you can also explore a cavernous underground Lava Tunnel where you can view one of the geological wonders of our volcanic islands.



One of the places to visit while travelling on any of our Galapagos packages is the Charles Darwin Research Station which was founded in 1964 in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. This place is really important because many research projects are conducted there, as well as monitoring and conservation of the marine and terrestrial species that inhabit the islands and their environment, here you can see the giant turtoise in cautivity with their different species, endemic and native plants and some land iguanas.



Floreana Island has, arguably, the most interesting human history of all of the Galapagos Islands. It is the site of the first “post office”, established in 1793 by whalers, and it was the home to the first Galapagos resident a bold Irishman named Patrick Watkins who lived there from 1807-1809.

Floreana was the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians in 1832. It was a penal colony that didn’t last long because of the lack of fresh water.

Floreana is most well-known for being the site of several mysterious disappearances in the 1930s—the one receiving the most attention being that of a supposed Austrian baroness, who had arrived shortly after the Wittmers with her three servants.


Gordon Rocks is a highlight of any diving experience in the Galapagos. It is is the top of a submerged cone at the northeastern end of Santa Cruz, there is one reason people head to Gordon Rocks and one reason it is a world-renowned site: the Hammerheads. Also there are Eagle Rays, Stingrays, Marbled Rays, Mantas, White-Tipped Reef Sharks, Galapagos Sharks, Jacks, Turtles, Heiroglyphic Hawkfish, but people remember one thing: Close encounters with Hammerheads sharks.



North Seymour - Mosqueras is a nightmare for underwater photographers because of how great it is for everything, from sharks, tiny nudibranchs to Mantas.Add to that all the rays (spotted eagle rays, marble rays, golden eagle rays, stingrays), are always present.