South Plaza Island Tour
A tour to South Plaza Island puts you face to face with Sea Lion pups, Land Iguanas, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and various nesting sea birds. South Plaza Island is half of a pair of islets off the east coast of Santa Cruz. The channel between the two islands provides the perfect haven for California Sea Lion pups. In fact, South Plaza has one of the largest Sea Lion colonies in the entire Galapagos Archipelago. Often you can see bulls defending their harems in the azure waters of the channel. On land, you can see Red and Yellow Land Iguanas, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Audubon’s Shearwaters, Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Frigates and more. On the return cruise you will stop for a snorkel just outside of the Ithabaca Canal, a refreshing way to end this interesting day tour.
Tour Highlights and Inclusions:
- Visit one of the largest colonies of California Sea Lions in the Galapagos.
- Colorful Galapagos Land Iguanas inhabit most of this small island.
- A large variety of sea birds also call this wedge of an island home.
- Enjoy the panoramic views, the unique geology and flora & fauna.
- Snorkel near the Ithabaca Channel where you can see Reef Fish, Sea Lions, Rays, and possibly sharks among other marine life.
English Name: South Plaza Island Spanish Name: Isla Plazas
Location & Geography: South Plaza island is one of two small islets located off the east coast of Santa Cruz Island. It is a small wedge-shaped island formed by tectonic uplift. The island slopes gradually upward and ends with a cliff that drops abruptly into the sea offering stunning views of the open water below.
Terrestrial Wildlife: Colonies of California Sea Lions, Red and Yellow Land Iguanas, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Red-billed Tropicbirds, Audubon’s Shearwaters, Nazca and Blue-footed Boobies, Frigates
Marine Wildlife: Galapagos Sharks, White-tip Sharks, Large Rays, Pelagic and Reef Fish
Difficulty: Moderate due to terrain and exposure : two mile hike over unpaved trails and rocks, dry landing transfer from motor yacht to zodiac to dock, open water snorkeling in canal from motor yacht.
You will need: closed shoes, water, hat, sunscreen, snorkel gear, bathing suit/ change of clothes and light jacket for the return trip.
|Start time: 8am Hotel pick up||Duration: full day||Origin: Santa Cruz||Embarcation Point: Ithabaca Canal|
|Group Size: 16-20 maximum||Vessel Type: Motor Yatch||Activity level: leisurely||Total Travel Time: Land ~2 hours; Water ~2 hours|