Isla Santa Fe Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN
  • Things to Do
    by MalenaN

Isla Santa Fe Things to Do

  • Visiting Isla Santa Fe

    On the second day of the cruise with M/S Cachalote (2011) we visited South Plaza in the morning, then we navigated to Isla Santa Fe and anchored in a calm bay on the north eastern side of the island. This is the only visitor site on Isla Santa Fe. The bay looked beautiful with turquoise water when we arrived, as the sun was shining then. After...

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  • Snorkelling tour to Isla Santa Cruz

    I did not know there were daytrips to Isla Santa Fe which included a walk on the island, so I booked the Santa Fe snorkeling tour, which includes two snorkeling stops by Isla Santa Fe and a visit to Playa Escondida on Isla Santa Cruz. I booked the tour through Academy Bay Dive Centre on Av Charles Darwin. The tour was $85 (August 2014) and to rent...

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  • Snorkeling 2

    The second snorkeling place we went to during the day tour in 2014, was in the same calm bay that I had visited when on a cruise with Cachalote in 2011. The only visitor sight on the island is here. When I visited in 2011 we visited the island, but on this daytrip no landing was permitted. We snorkeled along the opposite side of the bay then last...

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  • Snorkeling 1

    The first snorkeling place during the day tour was below the cliffs of Isla Santa Fe. The bottom was here covered with big rocks. There were huge schools of Razor Surgeon Fish. You often see them in big schools, but I don’t think I ever seen so many at the same time. Further away from the boat there were huge schools of another fish, smaller and...

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  • Brown Pelican

    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...

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  • In search of Land Iguanas

    From the small beach we took the short loop trail through the Opuntia forest on the headland to the north, overlooking beach and bay. This trail is just 800 metres long and rated easy/moderate.Santa Fe is known for its own endemic species of Land Iguana, which is larger than those found on the other islands in the archipelago. They are also paler...

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  • Blue-footed Booby

    The Blue-footed Boobies are funny looking birds, but also amazing with their bright blue feet and their special mating ritual. The Blue-footed Booby on Galapagos Islands is an endemic subspecies (Sula nebouxii excisa) and it is a common, with around 10 000 pairs.As the name indicate the Blue-footed Boobies have bright blue webbed feet. The bill is...

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  • Galapagos Sea Lion

    The Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki) is an endemic subspecies. It is common, and there is a population of about 50 000 Sea Lions in the Galapagos Islands. They can be seen in many places near the shores, on beaches, on the rocks or even in the towns (for example on a porch in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and at the Fish Market in...

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  • Snorkelling

    This was the first snorkelling opportunity we had during the cruise with M/S Cachalote. We snorkelled for a little bit more than an hour along the shore and then out over the sandy bottom. The visibility was not the best, but not too bad either. Being the first time I snorkelled in the Galapagos Islands it was also the first time I saw sea lions...

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  • Sally Lightfoot Crab

    The beautiful Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus) can be seen all over the shores of the Galapagos Islands. With its bright orange colour it stands out from the black lava rocks where you often see them. The young ones are dark in colour though, and this make them well camouflaged on the rocks. The adult crabs can be as big as 20cm. Sally...

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  • Painted Locust

    The Painted Locust (Schistocerca melanocera) is endemic to the Galapagos Islands and it is common in the lowlands of all islands, except on Isla Española where it is not present. The Painted Locust is the largest insect on the Galapagos Islands and it can be up to 8cm long. The colour is black and bright yellow, red and green. It is a common prey...

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  • Lava Lizards

    Lava LizardsLava Lizards are endemic to the Galapagos Islands and there are seven different species. The Galapagos Lava Lizard (Microlophus Albemarlensis) can be seen on several islands, and then there are the Española Lava Lizard, Floreana Lava Lizard, Marchena Lava Lizard, Pinta Lava Lizard, Pinzón Lava Lizard and the San Cristóbal Lava Lizard....

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Isla Santa Fe Transportation

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Santa Fe landing

    by toonsarah Written Dec 23, 2012

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    Barrington Bay is the only visitor site on Santa Fe. It is considered one of the most beautiful coves in the Galápagos, with its white sand and turquoise waters sheltered by a line of rocks and islets offshore. The landing here is a wet one. The cruise boats anchor some distance off shore because of that line of rocks and the ride in is a lovely one. We had to be careful as we arrived, as the Galápagos sea lion colony here is patrolled by a large and noisy bull. We gave him a wide berth as we waded ashore, walked up the sand and sat on a convenient rock to dry off our feet and slip into the trainers that are recommended for the trail here. I was later to see him a rather closer distance when snorkelling in the bay, and it was clear that he had been in more than a few fights!

    Once we had all dried off, and put on trainers if we hadn’t landed in sandals, we turned our attention to the activity on the beach.

    Boats in Barrington Bay Fabian on the beach
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Cruise

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Isla Santa Fe Sports & Outdoors

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Snorkelling off Santa Fe

    by toonsarah Updated Dec 23, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The second part of our morning here was devoted to snorkelling. I had been in two minds whether to join the group, as I was finding getting into the panga afterwards a bit of a challenge, and there was no option here to swim to the beach. But I decided to join the party, and it proved to be a great decision!

    We were joined in our swim by a group of Galápagos sea lions, the females happy to play with us while the watchful alpha male who patrolled among them tolerated our intrusion but disdained to join the fun (see photo three). They stayed with us for a long while, and I was really pleased to be able to capture some of their antics on my waterproof camera, both on video, and these stills, just before its battery ran out! The sea lions seemed almost to know what I was doing, as they repeatedly swam towards me, peered at the lens and flipped gracefully away again. I was so happy to be able to capture these images of what was to be our last snorkelling session in the Galápagos – a fantastic one to end with!

    This is my last tip about Santa Fe, so please click here to return to my intro page.

    So graceful The alpha male
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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Isla Santa Fe Favorites

  • Galapagos Hawk

    The Galapagos Hawk (Buteo galapagoensis) is endemic to Galapagos Islands. There it can be seen on most island but mostly on Isla Española, Isla Santa Fe, Santiago and Isla Fernandina, and it can be found both in the lowlands and in the highlands.Adult females and males look the same, but the females are larger than the males. The plumage is dark...

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  • Galapagos Shearwater

    The Galapagos Shearwaters (Puffinus subalaris) can often be seen flying in flocks near the surface of the sea, just like in the photo. They fly fast with rapid wing beats and short glides in-between. Then they plunge dive from the surface, or from just above the surface, to get squid and small fish which they feed on.The plumage is black (dark...

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  • Frigatebirds

    There are two species of frigatebirds in the Galapagos Islands, the Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) and the Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor). There are about 1000 pairs of the Magnificent Frigatebird spread in 12 colonies, and a few thousand pairs of the Great Frigatebird, also in 12 colonies.The frigatebirds are large seabirds with...

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