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South Plazas Day Tour
Playful Galapagos sea lions, land iguanas everywhere, swallow tailed gulls and other seabirds. Plazas islands are located to the East of Santa Cruz Island. South Plaza got a tourist trail that will allow to enjoy this versicolor island. It is a top table island as Baltra and North Seymour, it means that it had emerge from the sea bottom by an injection of inner magma. The snorkel place is located in the Itabaca Channel, Punta Carrión where you will enjoy the water and most of the time white tip sharks.
Galapagos Sea Lion
Galapagos Land Iguana
White Tip Shark
On this daily tour you will visit two sites, the order of the visits will depend on the boat itinerary that is been authorized by the GNPS. If you visit South Plaza first, you will start and end your navigation on the Itabaca Channel, if you visit Punta Carrion first, you will star on the Itabaca Channel and will normally end in Puerto Ayora.
In South Plaza you will have a dry landing on a semi-natural pier, then you will hike for about one hour and 30 minutes. Since the beginning you will orange-red light food crab and playful sea lions. Then you will start seeing the land iguanas, males and females. The path will take to the cliff where you will see different species of seabirds (share waters, frigate-birds, boobies and sometimes even tropicbirds) and a beautiful landscape. The contrast of the colors of the vegetation and rocks of this island made it very especial. Punta Carrion is quite protected area in the Itabaca Channel where you can get a very nice snorkel with colorful fish, sharks and rays.
This sea mammal is one of the most charismatics animals in the islands. Its curiosity and playful behavior made a perfect companion for underwater experiences. Their bodies are fusiform and cover with thick layer of fur. Underneath the skin they have a white fat layer that insulates the body core from the cold environment. The fins got a different kind of fat, a brown fat layer that helps with the opposite, to cool down, this is very useful to avoid overheated during a persecution, going after a prey or running away from a predator. In very hot days is not unusual to find sea lion in the surface of the sea, showing their fins to the air, or in cold days, laying on the sand covering their fin with their body.
In Galapagos we have three species of land iguanas: Santa Fe iguana, the pink iguana (distributed exclusively in Wolf Volcano of Isabela island) and the Galapagos land iguana, known also as the yellow iguana. This reptile is not as common as the marine iguana, since they were hunted as food for the first sailors, they apparently taste like chicken, while the marine iguana had a very bad taste. Another reason is that the land iguana depends on land vegetation and alien species as goats, donkeys, pigs and rats destroyed most of their habitat. There are only five population left of this yellow iguana: Fernandina, North of Isabela, Baltra (North Seymour), Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz) and South Plazas. Recently about 2,000 land iguanas from North Seymour were re-introduce to Santiago Island, to recover this ecosystem.
Hybridism happens when one species breed with another similar species, crossing an species limit is not as unusual at it seems. For example the mule is a result of sa horse and a donkey breeding. In the Galapagos land iguanas this have been observed only in South Plazas, where a marine iguana male use to mate with land iguanas females. The result are dark white striped iguanas. Most of the hybrids don't survive for long, and normally they can't produce offspring.
CR8Q+C8 El cascajo, Ecuador
The ecuadorian sunlight can burn your skin even in a cloudy day, so don’t forget to take with you sunglasses, sunscreen (50+), hat and long sleeve shirt. You can take water with you and if you need extra help with your balance, don’t hesitate to ask for a walking stick.
In the cold season (June to November) you might need to get a light jacket and a wetsuit for the snorkel, again if you don’t feel comfortable on the water you can also ask for a flotation device.
Some navigation can be a little challenging for some people, you can take dramamine 30 minutes before sailing or just try lye down and sleep. During the sailing there is always chance to find wildlife too.
South Plaza loop path will be about 2 km or 1,2 mile.
- Meeting Point
- Departure Time
- 8:00 am
- Return Time
- 4:00 pm
- Not Included