Santa Cruz Island
Highlands of Santa Cruz offer an exuberant vegetation and
are famous for the lava tunnels. Large
tortoise populations are
Turtle Cove is a fantastic site surrounded by mangrove which sea
turtles, rays and small sharks sometimes use as a mating area. Cerro
Dragon, known for its flamingo lagoon, is also located here, and
along the trail one may see land iguanas foraging. close proximity
to Baltra airport makes the island readily accessible.
Baltra is a low island separated from the northwest corner of Santa
Cruz by the narrow Itabaca Channel.
Two distinct periods of volcanic activity are apparent on Santa
Cruz. The earlier period produced the "Platform" lava series, which
may be seen in the northeast and on the neighboring small islands of
Baltra, Seymour, and Las Plazas, small islets just off the northeast
They are flat-lying or gently dipping lavas interbedded with shallow
marine sediments and limestones ranging in age from about 1 million
years to as old as 2.3 million years.
Some of these have a pillow morphology, a
characteristic of submarine eruption. These lavas thus record a
period of volcanic growth, subsidence, and subsequent uplift.
At least some of these lavas were erupted from
vents in the northwest; the vents of others may be buried beneath
the central highlands.