"The last of our Galápagos Island landings" Islas Plazas by toonsarah

Islas Plazas Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 178 photos

Land iguana on South Plaza, and North Plaza beyond

The two Plaza islands, North and South (of which only South Plaza or Plaza Sur can be visited) lie just off the east coast of Santa Cruz. Both are uplifted islands, long and thin in shape, facing each other across the small bay where cruise boats moor. South Plaza, the larger of the two, is only 0.13 km sq, so a walk here gives you a sense of having seen a whole island rather than just a small part of one.

We came to South Plaza on the last afternoon of our Galápagos cruise on the Angelito. It was the tenth island we visited, and before we landed I had thought that maybe I was “all island-ed out”, but yet again I was to be surprised by the variety of experiences the Enchanted Isles can offer.

After a dry landing on a rocky shore, we followed the relatively easy trail among the brightly coloured Galápagos carpet weed or sesuvium. We encountered a number of brightly coloured male Land Iguanas, the same species of these that we had seen on our first island visit, on North Seymour.

The trail climbs slowly and on the far side of the island emerges on top of a cliff. From here we had a wonderful view of the birdlife – Shearwaters, Frigatebirds, Pelicans diving for fish, and the beautiful Red-billed Tropicbird. Further along the cliffs we saw a bachelor sea lion colony and then followed the loop trail back to our starting point, having also seen a yellow warbler, swallow-tailed gulls, ground and cactus finches, and marine iguanas. It had been a lovely walk to mark the end of our time on the islands.

This is one of a series of pages about the various islands we visited on our Galápagos cruise. In those individual island pages I aim to describe in more detail what we did on each island, the environment and landscape, and the wildlife to be found there. But for detailed descriptions of the animals and plants etc I have included links to my main Galápagos page, rather than repeat myself too much here.

To follow our trail here as we experienced it, please read my tips in order, starting with our landing.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Yellow iguanas, red sesuvium, blue sea – another colourful island
  • Last visit to Islas Plazas: Nov 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (3)

Comments (5)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Beautiful photos and texts from your last island. It’s nice that you included a link to MalenaN’s tip to show the difference in the seasons.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Mar 16, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Thank you Don for finishing your tour of the Galapagos with me, and for the many comments :-)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Another interesting page with beaut photos!

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Mar 3, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      It's great! I am nearly at the end, but will be able to re-live it again next Sunday.
      David Attenboroughs "Galapagos" is showing for the first time on Television, so I bet it will be good. I really enjoy watching his excellent documentaries. You may have seen already in England.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Mar 4, 2013 at 1:39 AM

      Yes, we watched Attenborough's Galapagos just after returning! I was slightly disappointed with it though. He was as good as ever, but it was made by Sky TV and the photography is not nearly as good as the BBC (IMHO) - too garish and gimmicky

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    Marvellous colours, Sarah! And an exciting island this seems to be.
    Thank you for your tour through Galapagos Islands :-) Now over to Ecuador, I am looking forward to this!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2012 at 4:52 AM

    The Sesuvium looks lovely! Sarah, I have now read all your excellent Galapagos pages and have really enjoyed it. It has brought back many good memories of my own visit to the islands. Now I'm waiting for your mainland Ecuadorian pages :)

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 28, 2012 at 7:25 AM

      Thank you so much Malena - and for all the advice and ideas I got from your pages before we went too :-)

      The other pages will come, though slowly. I'm currently writing some tips for an overview page on Ecuador before doing some on particular places. So much to write!!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2012 at 4:45 AM

    I have read that South Plaza was going to be closed for one month because they are working with eradication of rodents.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Dec 28, 2012 at 7:46 AM

      I found the article where I read it and there it says between November 17 and December 17: galapagospark.org/boletin.ph...
      To practice Spanish I sometimes try to read a few articles in an Ecuadorian newspaper and I have also read a few articles (only tried to) read some articles on the site mentioned above.

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 28, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      Yes, it seems you are right and I guess it has reopened. I must update my tip again :-)


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