Surrounding Islands, Isla Santa Cruz
There are a number of smaller islands near Isla Santa Cruz which can be easily visited or seen on tours from the island.
Unlike most of the other islands in the Galápagos, Santa Fe is not volcanically active. The island has no freshwater and has never been settled.Access to the island is by wet landing. From the shore a trail leads to a stand of Opuntia cactus, known for being some of the tallest in the Galápagos. Another trail leads to the highlands.Land iguanas and Galápagos snakes are two of the more unique species which can be seen on the island. The Santa Fe land iguana is a species found nowhere else in the world. Also of interest are rice rats, sea lions, and marine iguanas.
West of Isla Seymour are the islands of Daphne Major and Daphne Minor. Daphne Minor is quite eroded and is closed to visitors. Visits to Daphne Major are possible but limited by the park authorities. Landing on the island has caused serious erosion.Daphne Major reaches an elevation of 120m/384ft. Blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, and red-billed tropicbirds nest near the summit.
North of Isla Santa Cruz is the small island of Baltra. The Isla Baltra Airport is one of the main airports servicing the Galápagos and the place where most visitors to Isla Santa Cruz will arrive. There is no accommodation or visitor sites on the island.
Totaling less than 2sq.km/1.2sq.mi, this small island north of Isla Baltra is home to a variety of seabirds. Frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies nest in this area. Also common to this island are swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, marine iguanas, fur seals, lava lizards, and Galápagos sharks.
Off the east coast of Santa Cruz are the two small islands of Islas Plazas. Boats can land on the south island to see an Opuntia cactus forest, land iguanas, sea lions, swallow tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, frigatebirds, pelicans and other birds.
Between Isla Baltra and Isla Seymour is the tiny sand island of Isla Mosquera. Of interest is a sea lion colony, as well as a nice swimming and snorkeling area.