Galapagos Islands – Santa Cruz

Day 5 Oct 30 2012

Santa Cruz Island

Overview || Day 1 – North Seymour || Day 2 Isabla Island – Punta Flores and Fernandina – Punta Espinosa || Day 3 Isabela Island – Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove || Day 4 – Rabida Island and Santa Cruz – Cerro Dragon || Day 6 Floreana – Post office Bay and Punta Cormorant || Day 7 – Santa Fe and South Plaza || Isabela Island Day Trips || Santa Cruz Day Trips || Sierra Negra

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station this morning and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Enjoy lunch at the poolside of the Finch Bay Eco Hotel. 

After lunch, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, with their impressive Scalesia forest and the geological formation of the twin pit craters known Los Gemelos. From December to mid-April, a visit to see the giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good. Hear the next day’s expedition plan and enjoy dinner.

Today we visit the most inhabited island in the Galapagos – Santa Cruz. It hosts the Darwin Research Station which is now a breeding center for the Tortoises and Land Iguanas. They also still do some research on the Flora and Fauna of the Island. Some of us opted to walk to Tortuga Bay instead of visiting the station. We then had lunch at Finch Bay Hotel followed by a trip to the Tortoise Santuary where the giant tortoises can live in freedom. You can also see pictures from our extra three days in Santa Cruz

Landing in Puerto Ayora

We hike to Tortuga Bay, Puerto Ayora in the back

They built this nice 3km walkway so we don’t have to bushwack to the beach

At the beach we check out ghost crabs.

Lee exposes his toes

Follows the Marine Iguana’s

Then we’re back in Puerto Aroya where Luis, who is originally from Cuba, finds Castro Hotel!

Map of Puerto Ayora

Then we go to Finch Bay for lunch

and relax


Before taking a bus to the Highlands and the Tortoise Santuary

That’s a finch on the Tortoise

He’s hiding!

The shell or ‘ribs’ of a tortoise

Back in Puerto Ayora the locals are playing Ecu-Volly – Ecuadorian style vollyball, they use a soccer ball, their nets are higher and there is only three people per side.

Back at the boat!


After the cruise we had back to Puerto Ayora. Here is our two hour transport from Port Villamil to Santa Cruz. Kinda Brutal



Back in Puerto Ayora La Pinta is back! HIIII!

But alas our cruise is over and we head to Casa Judy where we stay for the next two nights.

In town there is a fish market. The Pelicans are VERY interested!

We walk to the Darwin Station to check out the baby Tortuga and Iguana’s

Then we go to Hotel Solymar for lunch. We didn’t stay here as they were booked, they’re quite expensive too but a good place for lunch and take in the Iguana Entertainment!

The Iguana’s climbed up and down this wall between the ledge and the ocean.

Then they hung out, Lee is channeling his inner Iguana

These gulls were harassing the Iguana’s. The Iguana’s are very docile, they just ran away then came back… like they never learned!

Lee’s pet Iguana with a real one

Iguana walking into the sunset

Puerto Ayora and Tortuga Bay

Bahia Tortuga and the Highlands Turtle Sanctuary, Isla Sta Cruz Oct 30 2012 from Lee Lau on Vimeo.



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