"Isla Santa Cruz" Isla Santa Cruz by MalenaN

Isla Santa Cruz Travel Guide: 85 reviews and 608 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.

2011: 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.

2013: This year I visited Isla Santa Cruz (stayed in Puero Ayora) for several days both before and after a cruise. Besides visiting Las Grieatas, Tortuga Bay and Charles Darwin Research Station again I visited places like Rancho Primicias, Rancho Chato 2, some lava tunnels, Puntudo and the beach at El Garrapatero. To some of the places I went with bicycle which I rented in Puerto Ayora.

  • Last visit to Isla Santa Cruz: Jul 2011
  • Intro Updated Jun 17, 2014
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Reviews (71)

Comments (15)

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2014 at 4:12 AM

    Great page

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Wow, what beautiful contrasting landscapes! The lava tunnel, volcanic cones, beautiful birds, and my favorite the Tortoises are gorgeous. Lovely page!

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Aug 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

      Thank you Dee for visiting! It is a lovely place! Greetings from Ecuador!

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Based on the list of recent additions to your pages (right side of the VT profile page), it looks like you have been spending quite a lot of time on this page, and it certainly shows. What a wonderful description of the bird life here.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Jul 14, 2014 at 5:19 AM

      Thank you for visiting my page Glenn. I have just spent a few days more on Isla santa cruz (left yesterday). I love galapagos islands and the things you can see and do there. Today I will go away to the highlands. I will probably be without internet for almost two weeks.

    • glabah's Profile Photo
      Jul 14, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      Sounds like a great adventure indeed.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2014 at 3:25 AM

    Malena, you have added lots of updates and new tips since I last looked at your page about Isla Santa Cruz, so now it is better than ever. I especially like your explanations of how the various sub-species have adapted to different conditions on the different islands.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      May 2, 2014 at 3:40 AM

      Thank you Don! This is a page I'm still working on and I think I have at least ten more tips to add. Last time I visited Isla Santa Cruz I rented a bike three day and saw many very nice places.

  • 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!

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