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Santa Cruz Island - GALAPAGOS
Area: 986 km2 or 381 mi2
Maximum Altitude: 864 m or 2835 ft
Human Population: Approximately 12,000 residents
The island of Santa Cruz has the largest and most developed town in the Galápagos; almost every visitor to the islands spends at least some time here given the name of the Holy Cross in Spanish, its English name derives from the British vessel HMS Indefatigable. It has an area of 986 square km (381 sq mi) and a maximum altitude of 864 m (2834 ft). Santa Cruz hosts the largest human population in the archipelago, the town of Puerto Ayora. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service are located here. The GNPS and CDRS operate a tortoise breeding centre here, where young tortoises are hatched, reared, and prepared to be reintroduced to their natural habitat. The Highlands of Santa Cruz offer exuberant flora, and are famous for the lava tunnels. Large tortoise populations are found here. Black Turtle Cove is a site surrounded by mangroves, which sea turtles, rays and small sharks sometimes use as a mating area. Cerro Dragón, known for its flamingo lagoon, is also located here, and along the trail one may see land iguanas foraging.
Situated in the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela. Its capital is Puerto Ayora, the most populated urban centre in the islands. On Santa Cruz there are some small villages, whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising. This island is a large dormant volcano. It is estimated that the last eruptions occurred around a million and a half years ago. There is a gigantic lava tunnel that is over 2000 meters long on the island that many tourists visit and walk through.
Santa Cruz is the main tourism hub for all of Galapagos, given its proximity to the airport on Baltra to the north. It is the only island in Galapagos where tourists can readily experience the interior and higher elevations of a Galapagos island. Santa Cruz has the longest paved road in Galapagos, which runs north-south across the island, taking people from the airport ferry at Itabaca Canal on the north coast into the highlands and through a few smaller towns on its way down to Puerto Ayora, the island’s largest city located on the southern coast of the island in Academy Bay.

The Galapagos Islands have experienced accelerated development due to recent rapid growth in both tourism and population. Santa Cruz Island, and more specifically the town of Puerto Ayora, has withstood the brunt of this growth. In addition to the problem of introduced species and the ever-greater probability of introductions, this growth has put increasing pressures on local resources and municipalities – in terms of health, education, waste management, and many other aspects of daily life. For example, until recently, the waste produced by the community was taken to a dump where no treatment was performed. In 2006, through the joint efforts of the community and the Galapagos National Park, the “Fabricio Valverde Environmental Center” was established outside of Puerto Ayora to provide recycling of 40% of the waste materials generated in Santa Cruz. Conservation of nature can only be achieved when the local population is sustainable, both economically and in terms of resources.

Popular Attractions , Visitor sites :
Santa Cruz Island Cities Conservations Sites :
Santa Cruz Galapagos Islands Hotels , Where to stay , hostels , Luxury Hotel First Class and Superior Class Hotels
Galapagos Safari Camp
Finca Palo Santo, Salasaca, Santa Cruz , Galapagos -Ecuador    
phone : +593 53013006 or +593 53013011    
Site :    
Royal Palm Hotel
Puerto Ayora Baltra : Km. 18 Via Pto Ayora , Islas Galapagos    
phone : +593-5-2527408/9    
Site :    
Finch Bay Hotel
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador, Barrio Punta , Islas Galapagos see map    
phone : +593 5 2526297 and +593 5 2526298    
Site :    
Hotel Sol y Mar
Ave Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Islas Galapagos    
phone : +593 5-252-6139    
Site :    
Angermeyer Waterfront Inn
Barrio Punta Estrada, Puerto Ayora    
phone: +593 94 724 955 / +593 92 164 720 / +593 52 526 561    
Site :    
Villa Laguna Hotel
Calle Moises Brito & Juan Montalvo Puerto Ayora , Islas Galapagos    
phone +593 05-2524819    
Site :!reservaciones/c237w    
Red Mangrove Venture Lodge
Av. Charles Darwin S/N Y PIiqueros, Puerto Ayora 200350, Galapagos    
phone : +593 7-288-7979    
Site :    
Silberstein Hotel
Av. Charles s/n y Piqueros, Av. Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora.    
phone : +593 5-252-6277    
Site :    
Casa Natura      
Barrio el Edén, Petrel y Floreana, Puerto Ayora    
phone : +593 2-246-9846    
Site :    
Galapagos Suites      
Cucuve y Floreana, Пуэрто-Айора 200350,    
Phone:(593) 52526209 + Movil: (593) 97448110    
Site :    
Fernandina Hotel      
Av. 12 de Noviembre y Piqueros - Pto. Ayora - Santa Cruz    
phone : + 593 - 5 - 2 526 499    
Site :    
Mainao Hotel      
Calle Matazarnos e Indefatigable; Puerto Ayora,    
Telefax: 052 - 527029 - 052 - 524128    
Site :    
Santa Fe Suites      
Avenida Charles Binford Sin Numero, Puerto Ayora 200350    
Phone:+593 5-252-6419    
Site :    
Hotel Red Booby      
Plazas Avenue and Charles Binford, Santa Cruz, Ecuador    
Phone:+593 2-290-7577    
Fiesta Hotel      
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos , Ecuador    
phone : +593-52526440    
Site : :    
Verde Azul Hotel      
Calle Petrel y Marchena,Puerto Ayora, Galapagos    
Phone:+593 5-252-4262    
Site :    
Gran Hotel Lobo de mar      
Charles Darwin Avenue and 12 Febrero Santa Cruz Island    
phone : +593 5-252-6188    
Site :    
Hotel La Peregrina B & B      
Av. Charles Darwing e Indefatigable Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz    
phone :+ (593 5) 2526323    
Site :    
Residencial Lirios de Mar      
Islas Plaza , Tomas de Berlanga & Charles Darwin Av Santa Cruz    
Phone: 593-05-252-6212 or 252 4269    
Site : none    
Pension Gloria      
Av. Charles Darwin near Seymour Puerto Ayora , Santa Cruz ,    
Phone : none    
Site : none    
Hotel Estrella de Mar      
Calle 12 de Febrero, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands     
phone :none    
Site :    
Hotel Salinas      
Calle Isla Plaza, Puerto Ayora, Ecuador    
Phone:+593 5-252-6107    
Site : Hotel Salina Galapagos Santa Cruz Island    
Hotel Ninfa      
Los Colonos y Thomas de Berlanga, Puerto Ayora    
Phone:+593 5-252-6127    
Site :    
Hotel Castro      
Barrio Las Ninfas Calle Los Colonos, Ecuador - Santa Cruz    
Phones : 052526113 -- 082979431    
Semilla Verde Guest House      
Km 12 via a Baltra Isla Santa Cruz Galapagos    
phone : (00 593) 87 103 006    
Site .    
Casa del Lago Hotel      
Ca. Moises Brito and Juan Montalvo, Barrio Las Ninfas,Puerto Ayora    
Phone: 05-252-4116, Cel: 09-9971-4647    
Site :     
Crossman Hotel      
Juan Montalvo y Charles Binford (Barrio las Ninfas) Puerto Ayora /    
phones : (+593-5) 2524359 / 2526467    
Site :    
La Casa de Pepito      
At Seymour & Fragata Av. in the Eden neighborhood,    
phone: 05-252-6640    
Site :    
Galapagos Best Home Stay      
Barrio Escalesia calle Piqueros, Puerto Ayora Santa Cruz    
phones : 593 - 53015345    
Site :    
Pension Mi Caleta INN      
Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Ecuador    
phone : +593 5 252 7375    
Site :    
La Casa de Judy Hotel Galapagos INN      
Fragata y Escalesia, Puerto Ayora :EC200350,  Santa Cruz    
phone . + (593) 052 527-343    
Site :    
Casa La Iguana - Galapagos Villa      
Puerto Ayora Santa Cruz Galapagos Islands - see map    
Phone: +(593) 999-751-199    
Site :    
Email :
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