Municipality of Santa Cruz
Located near the center of the archipelago, Santa Cruz is the center of tourism in the Galapagos. Its close proximity to Baltra airport makes the island readily accessible. Puerto Ayora the largest settlement in the Galapagos and the home of both the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Wild Galapagos Tortoises roam free crashing through the mist covered guayabillo, pega pega, and grasses of the humid zone. Flycatchers, Darwins finches and owl fill the scalesia forests near Los Gremlos. Almost every bird found in the archipelago has been seen within the many life zones on Santa Cruz.
The coastal region offers spectacular scenery. On the north shore of the island, accessible only by sea, is an extensive mangrove lagoon called Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove). Here among the mangroves turtle enjoy swimming in the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays and small sharks circle below. A land iguana colony makes the northern Conway Bay their home. Sea lions cover Eden Island and almost every beach on Santa Cruz has their share of marine iguanas. Puerto Ayora along the southern shore is lined with cactus, marine iguanas, pelicans and boobies co-existing with tourist boats, restaurants, small hotels and houses.