Santa Cruz gianttortoise
Santa Cruz Tortuga Bay marineiguana
Santa Cruz Port Ayora giantcactus

Almost all visitors to the Galapagos Islands will touch down in Isla Santa Cruz at some point. From beach walks at Tortuga Bay to giant tortoises at El Chato Reserve, there is plenty to see — but make sure to visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre to learn more about the wildlife you’ll encounter on your trip.

13 days

Machu Picchu & Galapagos cruise

An epic land and sea voyage of history and nature
Lima (1 days) Sacred Valley (2) Machu Picchu (1) Cusco (2) Quito (2) Isla Santa Cruz (1) Isla Fernandina (1) Isla Isabela (1) Isla Santiago (1) Quito (1)
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4 days

Classic Galapagos cruise

See the best of the Galapagos Islands
Isla Santa Cruz (1 days) Isla Bartolomé (1) Isla Genovesa (1) Isla Santa Cruz (1)
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5 days

Galapagos eco-lodge exploration

Luxury ecotravel at its finest
Quito (1 days) Isla Santa Cruz (1) Isla Bartolomé (1) Isla Santiago (1) Quito (1)
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8 days

Galapagos expedition cruise

Luxury-class cruise of the islands
Isla Santa Cruz (1 days) Isla Fernandina (1) Isla Isabela (1) Isla Bartolomé (1) Isla Rabida (1) Isla Santa Cruz (1) Isla Española (1) Isla San Cristóbal (1)
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  • Isla Isabela

    Isla Isabela

    Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and is made up of five (sometimes) active volcanoes...
  • Isla Genovesa

    Isla Genovesa

    Stay with us – Isla Genovesa is also known as Booby Island due to the sheer number of goofy-looking Nazca and red-footed boobies that live here...
  • Isla Rabida

    Isla Rabida

    Famous for the unique red colour of its beach and cliffs, Isla Rabida is known for the sizeable number of flamingos that feed on shrimp in its lagoon, snorkelling with sea lions and the large number of bird species that live here...
  • Isla Floreana

    Isla Floreana

    To the north of Floreana lies Punta Cormorant, a beautiful white sand beach that runs for 720m and is known as the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos...
  • Isla San Cristóbal

    Isla San Cristóbal

    Sea lions are everywhere in San Cristobal, so head down to any accessible waterfront to see noisy sea lions and furry babies frolicking on the sand and occasionally taking to the water...
  • Isla Española

    Isla Española

    Española is one of the more remote Galapagos Islands, at some 90km southeast of Isla Santa Cruz...
  • Isla Bartolomé

    Isla Bartolomé

    Tiny Bartolomé is most famous for its landscapes and scenery...
  • Isla Fernandina

    Isla Fernandina

    The third largest — and youngest — of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina has a unique environment which makes it a haven for thousands of slowly-moving marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and sea lions...
  • Isla Santiago

    Isla Santiago

    Once a hideout for smugglers and pirates, Isla Santiago is now best-known for Sullivan Bay, where century-old lava has solidified into bubbles and caves, and Puerto Egas, a wet landing where you can see seals, sea lions and sea birds...
  • Isla Darwin

    Isla Darwin

    Tiny Darwin Island, at the remote far north of the archipelago, is one of the world’s premier scuba locations...

Things to do in Isla Santa Cruz

Our recommended experiences and activities

Walk in the hills with giant tortoises
Isla Santa Cruz

Walk in the hills with giant tortoises

The endangered giant tortoise is making a comeback on the Galapagos thanks to a concerted conservation effort. Head to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see these gentle giants shuffling around the hills.

Get the inside story on Galapagos conservation
Isla Santa Cruz

Get the inside story on Galapagos conservation

The Charles Darwin Research Station is the Galapagos Islands’ conservation headquarters, where giant tortoises, iguanas and other endangered species are bred for reintroduction into the wild. Although the exhibits are a little dry, the Station is a great starting point for your journey into Galapagos wildlife.

Where to go in The Galapagos Islands

Our recommended places

Isla Isabela

Isla Isabela

Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and is made up of five (sometimes) active volcanoes. Check out Volcan Wolf — the highest point in the entire Galapagos and Volcan Alcedo, home to hundreds of giant tortoises and juvenile hawks.

Isla Genovesa

Isla Genovesa

Stay with us – Isla Genovesa is also known as Booby Island due to the sheer number of goofy-looking Nazca and red-footed boobies that live here. This island is a must for bird-watching enthusiasts, with great frigatebirds, short-eared owls and many more in residence.

Isla Rabida

Isla Rabida

Famous for the unique red colour of its beach and cliffs, Isla Rabida is known for the sizeable number of flamingos that feed on shrimp in its lagoon, snorkelling with sea lions and the large number of bird species that live here.

Isla Floreana

Isla Floreana

To the north of Floreana lies Punta Cormorant, a beautiful white sand beach that runs for

720m and is known as the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos. The mix of bright pink birds and green backdrops makes for stunning photographs. You can also see sea turtles nesting here from December to May.

Isla San Cristóbal

Isla San Cristóbal

Sea lions are everywhere in San Cristobal, so head down to any accessible waterfront to see noisy sea lions and furry babies frolicking on the sand and occasionally taking to the water.

Isla Española

Isla Española

Española is one of the more remote Galapagos Islands, at some 90km southeast of Isla Santa Cruz. Visitors come from March to December to see its colony of waved albatross, giant tortoises and the Hood mockingbird – which is found nowhere else on earth.

Isla Bartolomé

Isla Bartolomé

Tiny Bartolomé is most famous for its landscapes and scenery. A set of steep steps leads to a 360-degree viewpoint over the island, looking back on black volcanic formations, marine life and striking reds and greens.

Isla Fernandina

Isla Fernandina

The third largest — and youngest — of the Galapagos Islands, Fernandina has a unique environment which makes it a haven for thousands of slowly-moving marine iguanas, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and sea lions. This is also the island where you’re most likely to see a volcanic eruption, with the last happening in 2009.

Isla Santiago

Isla Santiago

Once a hideout for smugglers and pirates, Isla Santiago is now best-known for Sullivan Bay, where century-old lava has solidified into bubbles and caves, and Puerto Egas, a wet landing where you can see seals, sea lions and sea birds.

Isla Darwin

Isla Darwin

Tiny Darwin Island, at the remote far north of the archipelago, is one of the world’s premier scuba locations. Rarely visited by short tours, these quiet waters teem with whale, Galapagos and silky sharks, hammerheads and more.

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