Islas Plazas Travel Guide

  • Islas Plazas
    by Gypsystravels
  • Islas Plazas
    by Gypsystravels
  • South Plaza, Galapagos Islands
    South Plaza, Galapagos Islands
    by MalenaN

Islas Plazas Things to Do

  • Islas Plazas and Plaza Sur (South Plaza)

    Islas Plazas are two small islands just off the east coast of Isla Santa Cruz. They were formed by uplift and tilt to the north. Only South Plaza can be visited and it is one of the smallest visited islands in the Galapagos (it is only 13 hectares). Because there are many interesting things to see here and as it is close to Isla Santa Cruz it is...

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  • Daytrip to Plaza Sur (Islas Plazas)

    I wanted to visit Plaza Sur during my last day in Galapagos Islands 2014, even though I had been there during a cruise in 2011. I went around to several agencies and they all told me it was sold out, but finally, at one agency (on Tomas de Berlanga) I found an agency selling more expensive tours. Instead of $120 it was $160 (August 2014) because...

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  • Swallow-tailed Gull

    The Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus) is endemic to Galapagos Islands, well almost endemic, as there is a small colony on the Colombian island Malpelo too. The population of Swallow-tailed Gull in the Galapagos Islands consists of 10000 - 15000 pairs, spread in 50 breeding colonies throughout the islands (but not on Fernandina and the west...

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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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  • 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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  • On the trail

    The trail here is a loop, 2.5 km in length and rated moderate, although I found it easier going than many others. It leads gently uphill from the landing place through a very striking landscape of rocky soil and brightly coloured vegetation. This is sesuvium or Galápagos carpet weed which is turned vivid shades of red by the arid conditions at the...

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  • On the cliffs

    The trail climbs quite gently and on the far side of South Plaza emerges on top of a cliff, from where we had a wonderful view of the birdlife of this island. Shearwaters were wheeling in the sky, heading straight for the cliffs and veering away each time just before touching them as if they had some sort of built-in radar. Frigatebirds were riding...

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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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  • Land Iguanas

    Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) are endemic to the Galapagos Islands and they can be seen on several of the islands. For visitors it is easiest to see them on Isla Santa Cruz (at Cerro Dragon), on South Plaza and on North Seymour. I visited Cerro Dragon and South Plaza and saw several Land Iguanas at both places. The Land Iguanas on Isla...

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Islas Plazas Transportation

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    by toonsarah Written Dec 23, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We had arrived at the Plazas just before lunch, and the Angelito had moored between the two islands, of which only South Plaza can be visited (North Plaza being closed for scientific research). The panga took us across to the landing place as soon as we had eaten, and we made a dry landing on to a low stone jetty which led to a rocky shoreline. Here there was a stone obelisk indicating that this is part of the Galápagos National Park (as are all the islands and their visitor sites). There were several Galápagos sea lions on the rocks here, along with Sally Lightfoot crabs and some Swallow-tailed gulls.

    But we didn’t spend a lot of time here, and instead soon set off on the trail across the island.

    Sally Lightfoot crab Swallow-tailed gull
    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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Islas Plazas Warnings and Dangers

  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    by DennyP Updated Nov 25, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One thing became very apparent here and that was how difficult it was to walk on this uneven volcanic jagged rock surface. Make sure that you have a really good pair of walking / hiking boots or shoes.Two people in our group got badly twisted ankles. This obviously can have a really bad affect on your visit. Of course it is worse in some places than others but as these are all very volcanic Islands. This Island is exceptionall hot and dry with little foliage only cactus
    BE AWARE OF THIS DANGER..

    be careful walking on very rough  rock surfaces RED FOOTED GULL TYPICAL CACTUS THAT IS FOUND IN ABUNDANCE ON PLAZA EXCEPTIONALLY HOT DRY ROUGH LANDSCAPE LAND IGUANA
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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Islas Plazas Favorites

  • Hybrid Iguana

    On Plaza Sur the marine iguanas and land iguanas live near each other and that has resulted in hybrid iguanas. Several hybrids between a male marine iguana and a female land iguana have been found. The hybrids are sterile. I don’t think we saw any hybrid iguanas the first time I visited Plaza Sur (on a cruise in 2011), but on my second visit (a...

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  • Darwin Finches

    There are 13 species of Darwin Finches in Galapagos Islands, and they are all endemic. The Finches are famous because the role they played in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution . When Charles Darwin visited Galapagos Islands in 1835 during his voyage with the Beagle he didn’t pay much attention to the finches, but more to the Mockingbirds which...

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  • Yellow Warbler

    If you see a small bright yellow bird on the Galápagos Islands it will be a Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia). The Yellow Warbler can be found all over Galápagos Islands and in all habitats.The male has a bright yellow breast with reddish streaks, and the upper part is more yellow-green. On top of the head there is a reddish patch. The females...

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