Blogs from Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island November 10th 2019

Arrived at Galapagos Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, mid morning and transferred to our Motor Yacht,'Yollita 2'. No one told us what happened to Yollita 1 and we didn't really want to know. Whilst putting on life jackets to board our Panga (motorised rib dinghy) to take us to the yacht, which would take us to the north coast of Santa Cruz island, we saw Galapagos Sea Lions, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and Frigate birds. Yollita was a large motor yacht with 8 double guest cabins and a crew of 8. Our cabin was spacious although fairly basic, but with a good bathroom including large shower. After a decent lunch, we set off in the Pangas for our first exploration of the beach (Bachus beach) and some beach snorkel practice. Saw Red footed Boobies, frigate birds, marine ... read more
Sea Lion
Red Footed Booby
Lazy flight over Bachus Beach

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island August 5th 2019

Dear All Greetings from the Galapagos Islands! I can’t believe I’m writing that! I’m actually here on the amazing, stunning, unique and mysterious Galapagos Islands. There have been many highlights of my trip so far, and being here is certainly one of them. I’ve read and heard so much about these islands, and in preparation for this trip, watched three separate nature series on this amazing archipelago. And now I’m here! In actual fact, I was quite emotional upon landing at Baltra Airport here on Friday afternoon, I nearly cried if I’m honest! These islands are just so special. I’ve had the most amazing first few days on the islands, basing myself in its main settlement of 20,000 inhabitants on the main island in the centre of the archipelago – Puerto Ayora, on the island of ... read more
Giant Tortoise
Marine Iguanas
Flamingo Asleep

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island November 29th 2018

Having already arrived in Santa Cruz, it was a very calm night on the boat, but some of us stayed up a bit too late so nearly everyone was quite tired. After the usual 07:00 breakfast we left for our dry-landing onto Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz which is on the opposite of the island from where we landed by plane on Monday. Today was our Giant Tortoise day, but our first stop after being bundled into a mini-bus, was to walk around a couple of old volcanic craters within Galapagos National Park where Fabian explained some details of the flora. As we drove up from the port Fabian told us to look out for tortoises as they make their way up from the lowlands to the highlands.. After the crater walk we were driven to a ... read more

We had to pack and put out our bags as today was our last day. After breakfast the last trip was to Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz island. The landing was a wet one and so many people decided to stay on board the yacht, including us. Those who took the excursion went in hope of seeing flamingos. There used to be a large colony of flamingos on the island but due to El Nino the food chain was destroyed and most of the flamingos went to better pickings. However, there is a small colony left. The group were lucky and they saw two flamingos in the small pools on the beach. The beaches also provide the main sea turtle nesting sites. Three of four times a year the turtles come inland onto the beaches ... read more
Thimble and Mug from Galapagos

Today was our last trip with Hernan who was leaving the ship after the morning excursion. We were up at 6 am - our bodies awoke an hour too early! - and it was pitch black. We dressed and said our morning prayers as the sun rose, then joined the group for breakfast as usual. We piled into the Zodiacs and went to Black Turtle Cove on the north shore of Santa Cruz island. En route we saw Golden Rays gliding and leaping out of the water. These manta rays leap high above the sea and land on their backs. This is because they have parasites on their backs and this is the way to rid themselves of them. (We did not imagine that we would experience this phenomenon so emphatically the next day.) On ... read more
Golden Manta Ray
Rays by mangroves in Black Turtle Cove
Monarch butterfly on Lantana by Tortoise

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island April 30th 2018

We certainly slept well to the rocking of the boat! When we woke up the scenery was amazing. Steep cliffs in front of us and the stillness and silence was incredible, and the air was so pure and so unpolluted. This was surely Paradise. We decided to recite our morning prayers at the front of the yacht. At 7am precisely the sounds of the Beatles singing “Magical Mystery Tour” blasted out from the speakers. Each cabin is wired up to the P.A. system and there is no getting away from it. The sound inside the cabins is reasonably muted on most mornings for a soft wake-up, but in this case we were standing directly in front of the speaker horns above the pilot house and the music was somewhat louder than the rest of the ... read more
Magnificent Frigatebirds aboard
Galapagos Marine Iguana
amazing Palo Santo tree

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island April 29th 2018

Up at the crack of dawn to catch the early morning flight from Quito to Baltra Airport via an hour stopover at Guayaquil Airport. Guayaquil is the largest and most populous town in Ecuador. As we flew over the Andean mountain range we saw perched on plateaux large towns linked to each other by single roads. These roads seem relatively modern from the air and one can only imagine that the earlier townsfolk must have walked up and down mountain paths to communicate with each other. Eventually we arrived at Baltra where we passed through immigration and each paid our $100 nature park entrance fee. The Galapagos Islands are one big nature reserve and movement around the islands is very tightly controlled. Food security was exceedingly strict as we found out during our trip. Stray ... read more
Hernan : our first guide
Lesley on the Zodiac - her nemesis !
Lesley and Caroline at the Charles Darwin Research Center

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island August 29th 2017

Santa Cruz (English Indefatigable) is the second largest of the Galápagos islands after Isabella, and contains the largest urban center, Puerto Ayora. During the night the crew had cruised the boat to Puerto Ayora for refueling in the early morning, and anchored near the fuel station. I walked to the stern of the boat in the early morning and immediately noticed that there was a lot of commotion with pelicans and other seabirds diving under the rear of the boat as it began to move toward the fuel station. It quickly became what can only be described as a feeding frenzy among the birds, who were soon joined by several small sharks and at least one larger (7-8 feet) Galápagos shark. I could only assume that many small fish had gathered under our boat during the ... read more
Feeding frenzy at Baltra
Wet landing
Marine iguana

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island October 21st 2016

Buenos dias DK! Ja, så kom vi sørme også forbi Galapagos, som absolut ikke har skuffet! Man har jo altid hørt om Galapagos som noget med Darwin og nogle store skildpadder, men hvad de nærmere går ud på har jeg ikke vist så meget om. Nå, men Galapagos er en gruppe vulkanske øer ca 1100km vest fra Syd Amerika. Øerne er meget forskellige i udtryk, farve, højde, vegetation og hvem der bor på øerne. Hvis man vil have det fulde indtryk af øerne foregår det fra søs, via et cruise rundt mellem øerne. Ellers når man ikke at få forskellighederne med. Desværre er alt der vedrører Galapagos væsentlig dyrere i forhold til alle andre ting i Ecuador, man kan godt fornemme at de øer er noget helt specielt for dem (med rette), og der bliver gjort ... read more
Frigat puster gør sig til
Blue footed boobie, kendetegn for øerne

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island April 26th 2016

Arrived late afternoon to our final stop of the Galapagos; Santa Cruz...most folks start here, a lot of the cruises leave from this most populous island of the archipelago and it certainly has the most infrastructure of the islands we saw...a few things planned but with only two full days here and it being the end of the line we certainly wanted to squeeze in a little more relaxin'... Having already stopped here in transit to Isabela we had a bit of the lay of the land which was great...on our previous stop we managed to take in the Charles Darwin Research Station which was cool, although a large portion of it was under renovations so the museum was closed and the baby tortoises had been relocated which was a drag...a couple of pens of the ... read more
Tortoises at CDRS
Waiting for Scraps...

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