"Isla Santa Cruz" Isla Santa Cruz by MalenaN

Isla Santa Cruz Travel Guide: 62 reviews and 397 photos

Isla Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos, and it is the most visited. Here the largest town in the archipelago, Puerto Ayora, is situated. There are many visitor sites on Isla Santa Cruz, many of them can be visited independently, and it is easy to do daytrips to some other islands from Puerto Ayora. Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora and some other visitor sites on the island are often included in the cruise itineraries.

The area of Isla Santa Cruz is 986 sq km and the highest altitude is 864m. In the costal zone mangrove is growing, in the dry zone you will find vegetation like Opuntia Cactus and Palo Santo trees. In the highlands is the humid zone with Scalesia forest and pastures. Around the villages Santa Rosa and Bellavista there are farms for agriculture and cattle raising.

During the cruise with M/S Cachalote we visited Cerro Dragon, a visitor site where you will see Land Iguanas, the mangrove lagoon Black Turtle Cove and Santa Cruz Highlands (only the farm Mariposa) to see Giant Tortoises in the wild. We also visited Charles Darwin Reseach Station. After the cruise I visited Puerto Ayora on my own and then visited the beach at Tortuga Bay and took a walk to the lovely Las Grietas.

  • Last visit to Isla Santa Cruz: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated May 16, 2012
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Reviews (48)

Comments (11)

  • kenmerk's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Nice page, Malena,,, Many things here that I didnt get to see in the Galapagos,,, (I think I spent too much time underwater,,, I need to see more ot the top side of the islands some day.... ) Cheers....

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Mar 31, 2013 at 4:56 AM

      And there were many things I didn't see as I didn't dive, but only snorkeled when visiting the Galapagos Islands.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I am jealous, I want to go to the Galapagos!! Excellent page with very informed detailed tips.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Feb 16, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      Thank you! Galapagos Islands is a wonderful place to visit, and hopefully I will go again this year. You have been to Antarctica and that is also a place to be jealous about. It is on my wishlist, but just too expensive.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Malena, Another interesting, excellent page! It is unbelievable the amount of birdlife here, and I love those fat, lazy looking Iguana's.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Sep 27, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      Thank you Dee! I love the iguanas too, both the Land- and the Marine Iguanas.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    Another really interesting page on one of the Galapagos Islands!

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Sep 26, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      Thank you Don for visiting. I hope to go back next year, but not on a cruise that time.

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Sep 24, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Excellent travel page on Isla Santa Cruz with lots of nature. Interesting and wonderful attractions especially the Dragon Hill and Las Grietas which certainly attract us the most. Thanks for your great virtual tour with superb photographs. ~ho & pang

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Sep 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      Thank you ho and pang! Isla Santa Cruz and Galapagos is definitely a wonderful place to visit. It's amazing to be so close to the large Land Iguanas at Dragon Hill.

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    What an impressive trip with so many wonderful shots of iguanas, turtles, birds which one can never see in any other places! Isla Santa Cruz deserves a visit for sure. Thank you Malena for sharing!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Great photos and writing - really puts me in the mood for my own trip even though it still seems so far off!
    Wonderful photos of the marine iguanas especially :-) And I loved reading about the owl in the bathroom - welcome to the Galapagos indeed!
    I like the colourful hammocks at your hotel too :-) And great photos in the travelogues - thanks for sharing them all!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Oh wow, it is like walking through my biology lessons at school when we learned about all the animals on the several islands of Galapagos :-) I love Sally Lightfoot crabs and your photos of the cattle egrets on the mangroves! And this funny lazy yellow-brown iguana at the research station. Las Grietas looks fascinating too. Excellent transport tips as usual :-) And I am looking forward to hammock time in summer :-)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    You've captured nature at its best. Lovely photographs and page!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    Awesome nature pix Malena and great transportation tip. Great page.

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