Santa Cruz Island is one of the Galapagos Islands with an area of 986 square kilometres (381 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 864 metres (2,835 ft).
Situated in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela. Its capital is Puerto Ayora, the most populated urban centre in the islands. On Santa Cruz there are some small villages, whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising. This island is a large dormant volcano. It is estimated that the last eruptions occurred around a million and a half years ago. There is a gigantic lava tunnel that is over 2000 meters long on the island that many tourists visit and walk through.
As a testimony to its volcanic history there are two big holes formed by the collapse of a magma chamber: Los Gemelos, or “The Twins”.
Named after the Holy Cross, its English name (Indefatigable) was given after a British vessel HMS Indefatigable. Santa Cruz hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora, with a total of 12,000 residents on the island.
Tortuga Bay is located on the Santa Cruz Island, a short walk from center of Puerto Ayora where you can view marine iguanas, birds, Galapagos crabs and a natural mangrove where you can spot white tip reef sharks and the gigantic Galapagos tortoise.
Special moments: a beautiful morning ocean side hike with the opportunity to see flamingos; beach time and shallow water snorkelling; afternoon hike to Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon) with the opportunity to see land iguanas; and, a beautiful evening on the yacht sun deck with sunlit frigate birds riding the thermals as we watched under a beautiful full moon overhead. Perfect!
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