Santa Cruz is a popular tourist destination today. It is home to approximately 12,000 Galapagos residents and has the longest paved road throughout the archipelago. It is important to eradicate all non-native animals and plants that destroy native and endangered species. Although there is no evidence of volcanic activity, it does not mean that there is none. Santa Cruz is a Spanish word meaning holy cross. However, its English name comes directly from the British vessel Indefatigable.
Because of the rich wildlife, hills and ferns as well as volcanoes and lava tube formations, the Highlands of Santa Cruz are a fascinating place. It is an amazing and unforgettable experience to explore the lava tubes. You can view all of the agricultural zones in Galapagos from one spot. This is a paradise for birdwatchers because of the variety of birds. After your visit to the Highlands, you will be transferred on to the yacht. After the visit to the Highlands, you will be transferred to your cabin. Here you can relax and settle in before attending the briefing.
Charles Darwin visited Santiago Island, the second Island he visited. It was named after King James II of England. It was home to a lot of water and salt and provided food for passing whalers and buccaneers. A salt mine was located inland, which was used to salt fish or tortoise meat. The island was once home to land iguanas, but they are now extinct. Darwin himself noted that the land iguanas thrived because there was nowhere to pitch a tent. Today, Santiago Island is one of the most popular islands.
Sullivan Bay is a satellite Island of Santiago. It is the ideal spot to view the Galapagos fur-seal. Although there isn't much wildlife here, the old lava formations with tuff cones and pyroclastic coni are worth a visit.
Bartolome Island, another satellite island, is also a result of Santiago Island. It is the home to the Pinnacle Rock. The island is named after James Sullivan who was a friend and colleague of Charles Darwin. This island is the most photographed of all and was featured in the 2003 film "Master and Commander".
Pinnacle rock is an expelled magma from an underwater volcano. The hot lava was cooled by the sea and the pieces exploded as they came into contact. This created this massive rock with many layers of basalt. A small number of green sea turtles nest on the beach that forms this huge rock. Here, Galapagos penguins congregate and you can swim to see colorful schools of fish as well as curious sea lions.
Genovesa Island, a horseshoe-shaped volcanic island, was created by an eruption of a shield volcano that had large slopes made by gradual lava flows. Because of the large number of birds that can be spotted, it is called "Bird Island". The marine iguana is the only reptile found on the island. It is also the only place where red-footed bobies can gather in large numbers.
Darwin Bay is the result a shield volcano in which one side of the caldera fell after years of erosion. This is the Galapagos' only place where red-footed bobies are guaranteed to be found. Genovesa's trees and bushes are home to over 200,000 red-footed bobies.
El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps is a steep and rugged path that leads to a spectacular view on a cliff. Palo Santo Forest is another place where nesting red-footed bobies and other birds can be found.
Egas port is also known by the name James Bay. This is where you can find Galapagos lava Lizards, Galapagos fur Seals and great snorkeling.
Buccaneer cove is best known for its excellent snorkeling opportunities. It was once a refuge for pirates and British buccaneers. It is home to many species of fish and amazing underwater formations.
We will also be visiting Espumilla Beach, where we can see marine iguanas relaxing and Sally-Lightfoot Crabs performing the dance of predators and prey right in front of our eyes. It is a great idea to snorkel, as you might come face-to-face with an octopus or moray eel shark, or any other tropical fish species.
Carrion Point is not a place where you can land so you will either be able to go on a panga ride, or going snorkeling. It is located on the Northern coast Santa Cruz, at the Itabaca Channel's entrance. It offers beautiful turquoise water and is a protected lagoon.
Your cruise is officially over. We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! We will transfer you to the Baltra Airport for your departure to mainland Ecuador. Enjoy safe travels