Isla Santa Cruz Things to Do

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Most Recent Things to Do in Isla Santa Cruz

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    Semipalmated Plover

    by MalenaN Written Feb 3, 2012

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    Semipalmated Plover, Isla Santa Cruz

    The Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) is a small plover that is quite common in the Galapagos Islands. It is a migrant bird, but it can be seen year round on the islands. It mostly occurs in the shore zone, on sandy beaches or by small lagoons, but it can also be seen by freshwater pools in the highlands.

    The Semipalmated Plover has brown upperparts with a white collar and a white forehead. The underparts are white with a dark breast-band. When breeding the breast-band is black and the bill orange and black. When not breeding the breast-band is brown and the bill is darker.

    The Semipalmated Plover feed on crustaceans, insects and worms.

    The Semipalmated Plover in the photo was walking at the water edge of a small lagoon by the path near Cerro Dragon, Isla Santa Cruz.

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    Galapagos Flightless Grasshopper

    by MalenaN Written Feb 2, 2012

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    Galapagos Flightless Grasshopper

    There is not a great number of insect species in the Galapagos Islands, but only something over a thousand. There are 22 species of grasshoppers and one of them is the endemic Galapagos Flightless Grasshopper (Halemus robustus), a small grasshopper without wings.

    The Galapagos Flightless Grasshoppers are quite widespread on the islands, but their brownish colouring make it very difficult to see them. This Galapagos Flightless Grasshopper was sitting on a flower of a Galapagos Cotton bush so it was easier to spot it against the light yellow background. If it had been sitting on one of the branches instead we would probably have passed without seeing it. The photo is taken along the trail to Cerro Dragon, Isla Santa Cruz.

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    Short-eared Owl

    by MalenaN Written Jan 15, 2012

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    Short-eared Owl, Isla Santa Cruz
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    The Short-eared Owl in Galapagos Islands is an endemic subspecies, Asio flammeus galapagoensis. It is found on most islands and usually in open land and grassland. There are around 9000 Short-eared Owls in Galapagos.

    The name Short-eared Owl comes from the fact that there are tufts of feathers that look like ears on the head. The eyes are large and yellow with a black ring around. The facial disc can be light in colour but also dark brown. The beak is dark and hooked. The plumage is dark brown and mottled. The underparts are lighter with streaks. The Short-eared Owls becomes around 34-43cm long and the female is usually a little larger than the male.

    The Short-eared Owls are diurnal, but can mostly be seen hunting in the early morning or late evening. They eat rodents, large insects and small birds.

    The Short-eared Owls nest on the ground and they are usually monogamous.

    The Short-eared Owl in the photo was sitting on a pole just next to the dirt road near a farm in Santa Cruz highlands. Santa Cruz highlands was the first place we visited during the weeklong cruise with M/S Cachalote. At the farm we had seen a Galapagos Barn Owl, and now when we left we saw the Short-eared Owl. That was good luck, that we got to see both species of owls that occur on the Galapagos Islands, even before we had got to the boat.

    Later we saw a Short-eared Owl on Isla Genovesa as well. That one was far away and we looked at it through binoculars. The Short-eared Owls can often be seen on Isla Genovesa were it hunts for storm petrels.

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    Brown Pelican

    by MalenaN Written Dec 17, 2011

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    Brown Pelican at Turtle Cove
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    The brown Pelican can be found in many areas along the American Pacific and Atlantic coasts, but on Galapagos Islands you will find the endemic subspecies Pelecanus occidentalis urinator. They can be found by the coast on most islands.

    The Brown Pelicans are large birds with a length of 105-152cm and a wingspan of 203-228cm. They have very long bills with an elastic pouch which they use when catching fish. The male and female look alike, but females are usually a little smaller. They have a greyish-brown plumage and they have a chestnut and white marking on neck and head when breeding. When not breeding the neck is more greyish. The juveniles have the same greyish-brown colour, but a paler/white belly. The feet are webbed.

    The Brown Pelican feeds on fish and crustaceans and they can often be seen plunge-diving from the air into the sea to catch their prey. Under the water they fill their bill with water and fish, and then filters the water and swallow the fish.

    The Galapagos Brown Pelican usually nest in mangroves and low bushes. They nest in colonies or individually. The female lay 2-3 eggs and they are incubated by both parents for about a month. They breed throughout the year.

    The pelicans can live as long as 30 years.

    The Brown Pelicans in the two first photos are from Turtle Cove and the three others from Puerto Ayora.

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    ALWAYS CARRY SUNSCREEN AND INSECT REPELLANT

    by DennyP Updated Nov 26, 2011
    SUNSCREEN AND OTHER ITEMS THAT I FIND NECCESITIES
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    When travelling here on the Equator there were a few things that I found that were neccesary to Carry. The sun can be really unforgiving here and it is a must to use a strong sunscreen when in the strong sunshine. I found that most Islands that I visited had very little foliage with little or no shade. There were certain items I found I needed ,and used most days..they were..
    A good strong sunscreen of 15+
    A small tube of moisturiser.
    A small tube of lip balm.
    A packet of wet ones , good not only for the heat but good for wiping small injuries clean.
    A small packet of tissues, in case you have to go.
    A good insect and mosquito repellant.
    Acouple of band aid strips..
    These are small items and take up little room. Dont forget your hat!!

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Great Blue Heron

    by MalenaN Written Oct 18, 2011

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    The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) can be seen on most big islands of the Galapagos (you can also see them in the West Indies and North- and Central America). The Great Blue Heron is a wader and when you see one it will probably be near shallow water, where they are often seen standing still waiting for prey. They feed on fish, crabs, young marine iguanas, lava lizards, small birds and insects.

    With their tall legs and neck the Great Blue Heron looks majestic. The feathers are blue-grey and the head is white with a black strip. The beak is long, sharp and yellow. An adult Great Blue Heron can have a wingspan of over 2 metres and it can be over 1.30 metres tall. They are beautiful birds.

    I saw Great Blue Herons on Floreana, Isla Isabela and on Isla Santa Cruz. The one on the photos is from Tortuga Bay, just outside Puerto Ayora.

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    Los Gemelos/ The twins

    by malianrob Written Jan 16, 2007

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    These are also refered to as the craters. They are two sunken volcanic craters that you can see on the road that takes you from the ferry and the town of Puerto Ayora.
    It is pretty interesting to see these but most of the time you will have to go with a guide or you wont be able to get too close. I asked the taxi driver why do we need a guide and he wasnt sure.
    Bus loads of people come to see the craters.

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    Lava tunnels/ Los Tuneles

    by malianrob Written Jan 11, 2007

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    After we went to Rancho Primisias to look at the turtles in the wild or taxi driver took us to The tunnels. They are tunnels formed from the lava. It was pretty interesting but I was alittle nervous at first. Our taxi driver Aureliano told us that there was a small section of the tunnels that we had to crawl through to get through. I wasnt too excited about that but after we did it, I realized that me and the kids had alot of fun. The crawling part wasnt too bad and it was only a very small section of the cave.
    The hike throught the tunnels was only about 15 to 20 minutes so it wasnt too long at all.

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    Galapagos National Park/Charles Darwin Center

    by malianrob Written Jan 11, 2007

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    The Park is free and its a short walk from the center of town. Here you will get to see the Giant turtles. Like Lonesome George who is about 130 years old now or more. There are baby turtles and iguanas. Marine Iguanas and land iguanas.
    You can also get a tour in English or Spanish. You will also get to see what they eat, how they live and how the islands were discovered. This is a great place to start if you are on this island.

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    Tortuga Bay

    by malianrob Written Jan 6, 2007

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    Tortuga Bay is on the Southern part of the island. You can get to the entrance by taxi or walk like we did. Then you get to an area where you can only get to by foot. From there on it is a 2kilometer walk. It is a pretty long walk, especially in the heat of the islands. The hike is also not exactly a straight walk. It is alittle hilly and by the time you get to the beach, which is your final distination you will probably be exhausted.
    Tortuga bay is beautiful. The sand is fine and white. The water is a beautiful clear blue. There is surfing on this part of the island and you can also see tons of crabs, iguanas and lizards.
    For maor pictures of Tortuga Bay check out the traveloge

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    Rancho Primisias

    by malianrob Written Jan 6, 2007

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    Rancho Primisias is located on the high part of the island. People come here to check out the giant turtles that live in their natural habitat. There are thousands of turtles up in the high part of the island where it rains alot and the temperature is alot cooler.
    If you are interested in looking at the Giant turtles this place is for you. You can see how the interact with eachother and how they eat and play in their pond.

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