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Galapagos > Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island


Galapagos Island, Santa CruzThe Highlands of Santa Cruz offer an exuberant vegetation and are famous for the lava tunnels. Large tortoise populations are found here.

Black 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 coast.

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.

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