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

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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 25th 2023

Wow! ….the Journey begins…. The big blue marble we live on contains a plethora of incredible and unique places to visit. Whether it is the topography, the natural wonders, the flora or the fauna, our earth never seems to disappoint. Scientists love to research and speculate how our planet became the way it is in the present day. Of the many places to visit, the Galápagos Islands is an absolute must for those searching for a truly mesmerizing look at species not seen elsewhere. The mention of the Galápagos also brings forward one of the more interesting scientists of the last few centuries…a chap named Darwin. His five-year journey on the HMS Beagle resulted in basically throwing the scientific world on its ear a few decades later when he published the famous “On the Origin of ... read more
Wandering North Seymour Island
Follow the Trail
Brilliant Reflections

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 24th 2023

Our morning started with a 3:30 pick up to take us to the airport. Not my favorite time of day, but even I was up and ready for this. After almost a year of planning and waiting, it was time to fly to the Galapagos Islands. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened, tray table stowed and your seat is in the full upright, most uncomfortable position because we are cleared for takeoff. Our flight had to stop at Guayaquil for 45 minutes to pick up travelers before heading approximately 600 miles out to sea, landing on Baltra Island. All flights to the Islands depart from Quito or Guayaquil. At the airport we spotted two ladies who had been on our tour at the real middle of the world. I liked them, so decreed that ... read more
Zodiac on a Beautiful Day
Ticket to Paradise
We Have Arrived

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
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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




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