Ecuador and the Galapagos 13

2023 expedition to the Galapagos Islands & Ecuador

Santa Cruz to South Plaza island

15/11/23 : Bus to the North of Santa cruise to board the Sea lion boat to cruise to South Plaza Island

Bus to the North of Santa cruz to board the Sea lion boat to cruise to South Plaza Island

An early start, as we had an hours taxi ride across the island to the Baltra port to pick up the boat that would take us on our day trip to South Plaza island. After a short speed boat ride from the port to the boat, we set off on our all day tour which would eventualy take us back to the hotel at Finch Bay.

First stop was a secluded bay on the North of Santa Cruz, at the bottom of some cliffs in clear water, we moored here for an hour while some of the guests on the boat went for a snorkel, having already done a lot of this, we decided to spend the time on the upper deck watching the bird life on the cliffs. Roosting on the waters edge were Brown Pelicans, Frigate birds and Galapagos Petrels, so the time in the sun flew by quickly.

Once everyone was back on board we headed off from Santa Cruz heading toward the Plaza Islands , we were mooring between North and South Plaza, but heading to South Plaza for a trip onland to watch the Swallow-tailed Gulls and the endemic Yellow land Iguanas.

As soon as we landed we  were greeted by Sealions bathing on the rocks, and Swallow tailed gulls everywhere. The gulls nest on the ground and were not even remotley bothered by us walking past them closely, we had to watch our feet however, as the eggs and the young chicks would be very easy to squash underfoot.

As we crossed the island it became clear that there was as many Yellow Land Iguanas as there were gulls! the males are brighlty coloured and the females less so , being mainly grey. These large lizards were everywhere , looking for mates in the good weather and 20 minutes soon went by as we watched them. Arriving at the other side of the island, we were greeted with the sight of five Sea turtles, fighting in the water for the right to mate with the lone female, while this was going on above the Red-billed Tropic birds , Frigate birds and Swallow tailed gulls were swooping  around the cliff edge. They moved very quickly so it took a lot of photos to try and get them in focus.

You are only allowed to be on the island for one hour, and you have to stick to the paths, here the wildlife is king and we have to fit in around it. An hour is plenty though as the island is teaming with life, and we marveled as we headed back to the boat for a late lunch onboard, before heading back on the long journey back to Finch Bay for our evening meal. We arrived somewhat windswept and tired but happy. 

Tommorow would be our last full day on the island with a trip to Sante Fe island and our last chance to see a Galapagos Hawk, a bird which had eluded us so far.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top