El Chato Tortoise Reserve is part of the national park on the highlands of Santa Cruz, which is surrounded by gorgeous, lush landscapes. Here tortoises can be seen living in their natural habitat in large concentrations.
These twin craters are sinkholes created from magma chamber collapse. The climate of this island creates a lush environment to spot birds such as Darwin finches and the vermillion flycatcher, as well as view flora such as Scalesia forests and plants such as bromeliads and orchids.
El puntudo, is an elevated hill. A two hour walk through recovered Miconia forest leads to an expansive and stunning view of Santa Cruz and the archipelago.
This protected cove and white sand beach is excellent for seeing crabs, rays, sea turtles, iguanas and sea birds. A short walking trail takes you to a safe place to relax and swim near a flamingo lagoon.
Lava Tunnels are easy to be found in Santa Cruz. There are different varieties of lava tunnels throughout the island. Some of them have three to four floors, others are small tunnels with a single floor. Still others are so long that they have been blocked by different collapses. Most of these tunnels have electricity, which help visibility of obscure formations of crystal rocks, stalagmites, stalactites, and various minerals that line the tunnels. Usually in the entrance and exit of the tunnels you can see owls during the day.
Puerto Ayora is the town attraction on Santa Cruz Island where the population is no more than 25,000 people and is located on the southeast coast of this island. Also it is the main hub for tourists who want to stay in town and do short explorations or do exciting activities during the day or at night such as diving, snorkeling, hiking, biking, surfing and salsa dancing. Also you will have the privilege to visit a famous place called Charles Darwin Station where you will see the conservation programs on the Islands. This place is the breeding and research center for Giant Tortoises and Land Iguanas.
A small swimming beach, just off from the Charles Darwin Research Station, visited by eagle rays, sea lions, and tropical fish. Excellent for snorkeling and swimming.
National park rangers and scientists of Charles Darwin Station work together to protect the animals’ habitat and to limit the island marine resource exploitation. See exhibits, read about research, and see tortoises in all stages of life.
After much hard work, the Galapagos Islands were declared a World Natural Heritage Site in 1978 and the Marine Resources Reserve was created in 1986 including 140,000 square kilometers of protected ocean and 97% of land area.
Tranquil and secluded lagoon surrounded by a wooden walkway in the mangroves. Features different species of birds including pelican, frigate birds, herons, and aquatic creature such as rays, colorful fish and sometimes sea lions. A short walk from the harbor. This place is sure to delight.
“Las Grietas,” a natural volcanic swimming hole, with fish and underwater caves . This area can be crowded, but is good for cooling off on a hot day. Access this to this location requires a trek along rugged lava rock. On the way to Las Grietas is a salt lagoon used by the fishermen for drying the local seafood.
Across the harbor via taxi boat plus a short walk away, this small beach is shallow, safe, and good for swimming or snorkeling.
Visit by water taxi or a lengthy trek; This gorgeous, white sand beach boasts surfable waves, sea turtles, pelicans, and marine iguanas. At the end of the beach is a calm stretch of beach in a protected bay ideal for kayaking, swimming, or snorkeling.
A snorkeling highlight. View Loberia Island with it’s large population of sea lions. Swim, snorkel, and interact with fish, sea turtles, and sea lions galore.