With stunning white-sand beaches surrounded by black volcanic rocks, natural reserves, lagoons and amazing wildlife that has no fear for humans, Santa Cruz is one of the most popular inhabited island in Galapagos and by far the most developed.
There are only a few places in the Archipelago where Galapagos tortoises can still be found in their natural environment. Among them is El Chato, a natural reserve that occupies thousands of square meters in Santa Cruz's highlands.
Playa de la Estacion is a small beach on the right side of the main road to Charles Darwin Research Station, home to dozens of marine iguanas, sharks or rays that you can spot near the shore. Due to very strong currents and sharp volcanic rocks on the shoreline, the beach is more appreciated for the view than for snorkeling or swimming.
If you want to spend an entire day at the beach, El Garrapatero is the perfect place for swimming, relaxing in the sun, or enjoying a nice picnic by the ocean. Lined by a mangrove forest, this white sand beach is particularly popular with the locals.
Inaugurated in 1964, Charles Darwin Research Station serves as a research station for studying the wildlife in Galapagos. In the hopes of increasing the endangered populations of Galapagos tortoises, the foundation conducts here a unique breeding program.
Home to many endemic wildlife such as marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, crabs, marine turtles, sharks and rays, Tortuga Bay is one of the largest beaches on Santa Cruz Island. It has two areas, the open beach where currents are very strong, suitable for surfing, and a beautiful lagoon where you can swim.
Due to the emerald crystal-clear water and the sharp volcanic rocks surrounding it, Las Grietas is considered one of the most beautiful places on Santa Cruz Island. With fresh water at the surface and salt water of the sea at the bottom, the lagoon is a lovely place to hike, swim or snorkel.
Surrounded by a mangrove forest whose colors are reflected in its clear water, Las Ninfas Lagoon is probably one of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset on Santa Cruz Island. This peaceful lagoon has a short boardwalk around the trees, where you can relax and enjoy birdwatching.
Tips&Tricks to Know Before you Travel to Galapagos Islands!
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